Miami-Dade County Mayor, Carlos Gimenez, took additional moves today to rollback the reopening of businesses, by ordering the closing of “restaurants (except for takeout and delivery services), along with ballrooms, banquet facilities, party venues, gyms and fitness centers, and short-term rentals.”
The change follows a the Mayor’s Moving To A New Normal Dashboard showing over 14 days of consecutive increases in COVID-19 hospital admissions and a 75.4% occupancy of all ICU beds Countywide.
The move motivated a group of restaurant owners in Coral Gables to hold a meeting on Giralda to plan the defiance of the Mayor’s order, and only four days after another set of rollbacks and a curfew took effect.
Restaurant owners voiced their concern over the viability of their businesses to endure another lengthy shutdown.
The order requires restaurant dining rooms be shut down effective Wednesday, July 7th. Gables Insider reached out to City Administration on whether the City would be enforcing the Mayor’s order or if the City would waive its jurisdiction to allow Miami-Dade Police to enforce. Staff did not reply to our requests.
Coral Gables Commissioner Mike Mena said the following on the matter:
“I do not agree with the County Mayor’s decision today to re-close restaurants. This is decimating news for our local restaurants, which have invested so much time, money, and effort in responsibly re-opening following the initial lockdown and I hope he reconsiders.
While we are all conscientious of the rising number of positive results throughout the State of Florida and many other parts of the country, shutting down these restaurants and destroying the lives of the low and middle income families they support, is in my opinion misguided at this point. Is the plan to continue going back and forth like this until there is a vaccine? Because that is not a plan. And at some point, there just won’t be any restaurants left to close.
I believe the more prudent approach would have been to strictly enforce the various measures that we already have in place. In my personal experience, the restaurants that I have visited in Coral Gables are acting very responsibly. Those who are vulnerable due to their age or a preexisting medical condition, can and should continue to take extra precautions. We can protect the vulnerable without sacrificing the lives that so many others have built.
With that said, our local restaurants are subject to the County’s order. Elected officials all over the world are making difficult judgment calls. And while I may not agree with him on this decision, I have to respect Mayor Gimenez and the County’s authority. I think any suggestion that the City refuse to enforce the County’s authority is irresponsible and would constitute a reckless abdication of our duties at a time when cooperation – and serving as an example for following the rules – is paramount.”