Miami Beach Orders Hotels, Hostels, Short-Term Rentals to Close

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Miami Beach Orders Hotels, Hostels, Short-Term Rentals to Close:

The latest in the effort to fight the spread of the coronavirus

Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County have ordered a hotel closure to further prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In Miami Beach, the order covers all hotels, hostels and short-term rental units in the City be closed effective 11:59 pm on Monday, March 23. They will not be allowed to accept new guests or reservations for the period between the closure and 11:59 pm on April 22. [Link to the City's updated order here.]

The new order also establishes a citywide curfew beginning at 12:00 am on Tuesday, March 24. 

Covered under the order are “commercial lodging establishments including, but not limited to, hotels, suite hotels, hotel units within apartment-hotels, hostels, dormitories, motels, and temporary vacation rentals (i.e. short-term rentals).” All are required to “immediately begin to shut down operations and vacate guests from their premises, and shall be fully closed to guests and renters by 11:59 pm on March 23, 2020. No extensions shall be permitted.” Restaurants within the hotels may continue to operate for take out and delivery only. 

Exceptions to the order include residents of residential apartment buildings and/or residential condominiums which may include hotel units. Also any lodging establishment approved by a City, County, State, or Federal governmental entity "for the limited purpose of providing emergency healthcare services or other essential services, including, without limitation, to serve as shelters, or to house patients (for any health-care related purposes, such as pre-admission, observation, recovery, or rehabilitation), patients' families, healthcare workers, first responders, law enforcement or other essential personnel, or displaced residents or visitors."

In an announcement of the closures, Mayor Dan Gelber stated, “Our hotels have always been the lifeblood of our economy, so shuttering them is not something to do impulsively. But right now, as painful as it may be, the reality is we just cannot be a tourist destination. Attracting visitors and tourists is just utterly incompatible with social distancing. For the many amazing operators and employees who are impacted, and the families that rely upon them, we are so sorry that you will feel this most acutely and we will advocate for whatever relief will be available at the state and federal level. These decisions were made collaboratively with County Mayor Gimenez, our City Manager Jimmy Morales and after input from all of our Miami Beach City Commissioners.”
“These are extraordinarily difficult times,” added Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “As we continue to combat the spread of this virus in Miami-Dade County, we are making daily decisions based on the evolving recommendations of health experts. I am ordering the closure of all hotels, commercial lodging establishments and short-term rentals in Miami-Dade County and fully support the decision by Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber and City Manager Jimmy Morales to close hotels and all other commercial lodging establishments on Miami Beach. We must not rule out any measures that will stem the spread of COVID-19 and protect our residents.”

In a text this afternoon to the Mayor and Commissioners, City Manager Jimmy Morales said he met with the [Greater Miami and the Beaches] Hotel Association board and director telephonically today and “discussed the possible closure of the hotels. They were surprisingly understanding,” he wrote.

Jonathan Plutzik, owner of The Betsy Hotel on Ocean Drive, told RE:MiamiBeach in a text message in response to the order: “It is painful, but the whole country is in pain. We are supportive of decisive action being taken at all levels of government including in Miami Beach. We look forward to getting to the other side of this. And we will.”

The curfew will be in effect from midnight until 5 am “and shall include but not be limited to the prohibition on pedestrian and vehicular movement, standing and parking, except for the provision of designated essential services such as fire, police and hospital services, including the transportation of patients thereto, utility emergency repairs, emergency calls by physicians, and food delivery services.” The curfew currently in effect in the Entertainment District remains in effect until the citywide curfew kicks in.

The order also adds closure of the Purdy Boat Ramp at Maurice Gibb Park. All other marinas, boat launches, docking, fueling, marine supply and other marina services will remain open between the hours of 7 am to sunset only.

It’s the latest in a long list of emergency measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Beaches, parks, and non-essential retail are all closed and restaurants are open only for take out and delivery.


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