Just when we thought life would go back to normal(ish), the City of Miami has decided not to ease restrictions on social-distancing. Per the official announcement made late Tuesday afternoon, all parks, pools, marinas and beaches will remain closed until further notice.
The extension will likely come as a shock to those who’ve been following the county mayor’s push to move to a new normal, which is part of his latest emergency order that allows certain public spaces to reopen and people to engage in outdoor activities under strict social-distancing guidelines. Basically, the county is allowing parks to reopen but it’s up to the cities to decide.
The City of Miami, however, has a different plan in mind. Theirs, led by Mayor Francis Suarez, is called Stand Up Miami. It’s a three-phased strategy that hinges on whether or not the city meets the criteria set in place by the Florida Department of Health, which calls for 14 consecutive days of a downward trajectory of influenza and COVID-19 cases in order for anything to reopen.
Once that happens, the City of Miami will lift its stay-at-home order and seize its 10pm curfew. Nonessential businesses (think limited retail) will be allowed to operate at a 25-percent capacity though never with more than 125 people, but restaurants will still operate on a takeout/delivery basis. Parks, marinas and golf courses will also reopen at that time with continued social-distancing restrictions, like the use of masks. Phase two will see restaurants reopening dining rooms at no more than 50-percent capacity, but bars, gyms, theaters and live entertainment venues will remain closed. Phase three will see a return to "regular" life as we knew it with gyms and most businesses opening its doors once more.
The stricter guidelines are not exactly surprising given Mayor Suarez’s track record during the pandemic. He led the charge in requiring residents to wear masks in public, was one of the first to issue a shelter-in-place order and put a curfew in place before most cities did.
If you’re not sure whether your neighborhood park is affected, here’s a list of all City of Miami public parks that will remain closed. And before you think you can just skip over to Miami Beach, where parks did reopen today, for an outdoor stroll, let us remind you that parks and parking lots will only be open to beach residents.
At least there’s streaming TV, right?
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