After much hinting over the past few days, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has officially announced today in a press conference that he will end the city’s ban on indoor dining beginning Monday, August 31.
Miami-Dade’s latest ban on indoor dining came in early July, as South Florida saw a large surge in positive coronavirus cases, hitting upwards of 15,000 cases a day statewide. Initially Gimenez forced the shut down of all in-person restaurant dining, indoors or out, but after much backlash and even protests, he eased the restrictions to allow for outdoor dining, but with a max of four people allowed per table and a strict 10 p.m. curfew. This was in addition to all the other safety protocols Gimenez set forth during the original reopening of nonessential businesses in late May after a countywide shutdown in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The new ease on restrictions still has a slew of guidelines including remaining at 50 percent occupancy levels, keeping doors and windows open and air conditioners continuously running during service, and prohibiting eating and drinking at the bar. However, the new rules up the number of diners allowed per table from four to six. Gimenez also notes the countywide curfew of 10 p.m. could possibly be moved up an hour to 11 p.m., but he was waiting to see the effect of opening up dining rooms has on the county’s positivity levels before making that decision.
When Gimenez first announced the closure of indoor dining in July, he said he wouldn’t reconsider allowing indoor dining again until Miami-Dade was under 5 percent positivity — a metric advised by health officials. Today that rate is hovering near 10 percent.
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