Miami Beach to Follow County in Allowing Restaurants to Reopen Indoor Dining

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Miami Beach to Follow County in Allowing Restaurants to Reopen Indoor Dining:

Basketball courts also reopen

Miami Beach will follow Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s latest order allowing restaurants to reopen for indoor dining at 50% capacity effective August 31. Municipalities may not be more lenient than the County, but they can impose stricter requirements. In this case, the City will go along with the 50% capacity but will prohibit live music and entertainment.

After businesses were ordered to close in March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Gimenez allowed gradual re-openings in May and June, however, following a spike in cases, he ordered a prohibition on indoor dining while allowing outdoor seating and service to continue. With the numbers declining again, Gimenez is reopening indoor dining rooms.

According to the County order, a maximum of six people will be allowed per table, with “strict adherence to the New Normal Guidelines of social distancing and the use of facial coverings when not eating or drinking.” In addition, restaurants will be required to run their HVAC systems with the fans “on” while occupied and doors and windows must be open “to maximize the circulation of fresh air.” Bars and nightclubs remain closed.

Miami Beach emphasized the following in its announcement:

  • Restaurants and food service establishments must continue to close for on-premises dining between the start of the curfew at 10 pm until 6 am the next morning though they may continue to operate their kitchens after 10 pm strictly for the purpose of providing delivery and drive-through services only. Take-out, pick-up, or curb-side pick-up remains prohibited between 10 pm and 6 am each day. Employees, janitorial personnel, contractors, and delivery personnel are still allowed access to these establishments. 

  • No music shall be permitted, unless the volume does not exceed the level of a normal conversation. Any live entertainment is prohibited. 

  • The prohibition on outdoor amusement facilities and outdoor attractions in the City remains in effect. 

Curfew: The countywide 10 pm curfew remains in effect at least through Labor Day weekend.

Good news for basketball players: Also beginning August 31, select basketball courts at City parks will reopen for public use subject to the following limitations:

  • Organized practices, competitive play or pick-up games are prohibited

  • Sports lighting shall remain off

  • Individual play only, with a maximum of three players per half court

  • Park staff may limit the number of persons using courts and the number of courts that are open

Players must:

  • Observe social distancing guidelines at all times

  • Bring their own basketball

  • Not share their basketballs or other equipment

But we’ll note here that the prohibition on dribbling is gone!

Any violations of the above restrictions may result in a $50 civil fine.

COVID-19 testing news:

The walk-up COVID-19 testing site located at the municipal parking lot at 21st Street and Collins Avenue ceased operations effective August 28. 

Miami Beach Convention Center Testing Site: The MBCC testing site at 17th Street and Convention Center Drive now offers drive-up and walk-up COVID-19 antigen tests (“rapid tests”), a nasal swab test with results reported, to the patient, within 4 hours or less. It will be offered from 9 am to 3 pm daily or until the site reaches the maximum 350 daily allotted tests. More detailed information on the purpose and efficacy of the antigen test can be found on the CDC website.

The COVID-19 active virus and antibody tests continue to be available at the Convention Center testing facility daily, including weekends, from 9 am until 5 pm. Testing is available for ages 5 and up.

Photo above: diners sit outside on Lincoln Road following the closure of indoor restaurant spaces in early July

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