Over the weekend, Miami Beach officials announced a 8 p.m. evening curfew to curb the overwhelming Spring Break crowds that have been packing the area for several weeks. Main eastbound lanes that lead to Miami Beach on the MacArthur, Julia Tuttle, and Venetian Causeways were also closed to traffic from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. The Miami Beach City Commission voted yesterday to keep the ordinance in effect every Thursday to Sunday until April 12.
On Saturday evening, Miami Beach interim City Manager Raul Aguila declared a state of emergency for the city and enacted a 8 p.m. curfew, which is four hours earlier than the current nightly curfew of midnight that has been in place in Miami-Dade County since last fall. The neighborhoods affected are in the “High Impact Zone” and run from Fifth to 16th Street, including popular tourist hubs like Collins Avenue, Washington Avenue, and Espanola Way.
Outdoor patio dining and sidewalk cafes, much of which was created due to COVID-19 regulations, must also close at 8 p.m. Restaurants in the zones are allowed to continue to make deliveries until 6 a.m. As for the causeways, Miami Beach residents and hotel guests, along with employees of local businesses are exempt on the Tuttle and MacArthur Causeways closures, but The Venetian remains resident-only from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
These new measures are following weeks of massive crowds, unorderly conduct, violence, and even fatal shootings in the area over the past few weeks, much of which has been documented nightly on social media. Legendary party spot The Clevelander Hotel, located in the center of the activity at 10th and Ocean Drive, even announced on Friday that it would temporarily shut its doors saying that they, “have grown increasingly concerned with the safety of our dedicated employees and valued customers and the ability of the City to maintain a safe environment in the surrounding area.”
Popular taqueria Taquiza had just re-opened the doors on its South Beach location this past weekend, after being temporarily closed since July 2020.
“The parking situation is awful, and the crowd that is around is more unruly than you’re used to,” said Taquiza operations manager, Christine Martinez. “I’m used to Miami being a little nuts, but this was next level.”
However, she adds that since the the new orders have been put in place there has been a noticeable difference, “you can tell it’s gotten safer, by the end of the week it didn’t feel uncomfortable anymore,” Martinez noted.