On May 31, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued an emergency order due to the civil unrest at some protests over the killing of George Floyd. In addition to a 9 pm to 6 am curfew, the Mayor has postponed the beach reopenings for as long as the curfew remains in effect.
The hotels and sands of Miami Beach reopen Monday after more than two months of closures due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, the City’s non-essential retail and restaurant businesses are slowly coming back online, many waiting for the visitors who will return once the main attraction – the beach – is open again.
At a special Commission meeting this week, Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales said City staff had visited 1,176 Phase 1A businesses (non-essential retail, personal services, museums and offices) that were allowed to reopen beginning May 20 to provide educational information on the rules and requirements for operating. Morales indicated about a third of the businesses are open, though he said he expected “a lot more will open up when the tourists come back.”
Restaurants, Phase 1B, began reopening May 27. Morales said staff visited 582 restaurants to provide them with the reopening information and “about a quarter of them are open” as of this past Thursday. Similar to the retail businesses, he said, “I think a lot of others, if they’re going to invest money to reopen, they’re going to want a lot more customers there.”
Since then, a number of businesses have indicated plans to open over the coming week.
Also reopening June 1, private condo/apartment pools along with City-operated community pools. In addition, the beachwalk and baywalk are now open to pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, skateboarders and roller/in-line skaters with no time restrictions.
Here’s what you need to know:
Beaches [Update May 31: Delayed until further notice]
Open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. with the following COVID-19 safety measures in place:
- Facial coverings must always be readily available and are required for use in bathrooms, at concessions or when social distancing cannot be achieved (except for members of the same household)
- Social distancing will be enforced and groups of 10 or more are prohibited
- No use of exercise equipment or playgrounds; no shared equipment, organized activities, sports or classes; no special events or group picnics
- No fishing, pets on the beach, floats, tents/canopies or coolers
More than 100 “social distancing ambassadors” will be out on the beaches each day “for the next few weeks” to enforce the rules, according to a City announcement of the reopenings.
In the busiest areas of South Beach, access points will be set up at 5th, 7th 10th, and 12th Streets.
Morales warned that certain areas may have to be closed off if rules are not being followed. Using South Pointe Park as an example which had to be closed just days after it reopened due to lack of social distancing and masks, he said, “We hope we don’t get to that point” but noted improved behavior when the park reopened. He emphasized, however, enforcement is not meant to be “draconian” but more as encouragement for people to spread out or wear masks when social distancing cannot be achieved.
Commissioner Michael Góngora worried that rules for members of a household not needing to wear masks when together can be difficult to enforce as "household" can be defined many ways but not always easy to identify, including gay couples, roommates, and other combinations. “I just hope that whoever is enforcing it is sensitive,” he said.
Citing the national media attention over the closure of South Pointe Park, Commissioner Ricky Arriola added, “I don’t want the reopening [of the beaches] to be an embarrassment.”
With the City expecting large crowds initially, he said, “Let’s temper what might occur so that this doesn’t become a national embarrassment for the City." He urged the Administration to “be mindful, be patient.”
Parking remains restricted in an effort to control the crowds as the beaches reopen. Municipal lots for all areas except the beachfront lots have reopened to everyone but garages are being limited to 50% of normal capacity. Beachfront lots are open to residents only.
Pools at condos, apartment buildings, and hotels will need to adhere to social distancing guidelines and capacity limits. Note: These pools may open but it is up to each building to make that determination. Further information at www.miamibeachfl.gov/reopening/pools.
Community Pools also reopen Monday with hours from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The facility usage is temporarily limited to lap swimming only, no programing, 60 minutes per swimmer and 2 swimmers per lane.
The following community pools will reopen:
- Normandy Isle Pool, 7300 Trouville Esplanade
- Flamingo Park Pool, 1200 Meridian Avenue
- No sunbathing (deck chairs to be removed)
- No locker rooms or indoor showers (outdoor shower will be available)
- Water playground to remain closed
- Swimmers should have ID with them to prove residency
- No groups of 10 or more will be allowed and all patrons must maintain social distancing of 6 feet at all times
- Face coverings must be worn while entering and exiting the facility
- Bring your own equipment such as goggles, fins, swim caps, etc.
- Bring your own water bottle (water fountains will not be available)
- Restroom usage for swimmers only
The beachwalk and baywalk are now open to pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, skateboarders and roller/in-line skaters with no time restrictions. Facial coverings must be worn if social distancing cannot otherwise be achieved, except by children under the age of 2, persons who have trouble breathing due to a chronic pre-existing condition, or persons engaged in strenuous physical activity or exercise.
Not reopening yet: Gyms and fitness centers though there are indications from the County these could be allowed to reopen on June 8. As of now, dog parks, outdoor exercise equipment, kids parks, and short-term rentals are NOT open. City Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution this week to urge County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to reopen dog parks and outdoor exercise equipment.