MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With nearly two dozen coronavirus cases in Miami-Dade, Miami Beach is doing what it can to stop the spread.
City officials have enacted an 11 p.m. curfew in the entertainment district. They’ve also asked restaurants and bars to shut down no later than 10 p.m. and reduce capacity by 50 percent to create social distancing.
These no edicts are having a ripple effect.
Tim Senaltan, who works at the Pizza Days restaurant, said not only is he losing wages from his day job, he’s lost his night job as well at a night club.
“It’s not good for us, it’s not good only for the owner but for everybody who works here is also affected by this. They are reducing our hours, so we make less money and tips,” he said.
In another move to reduced crowds, Miami Beach from 5th to 15th Street, as well as Loomis Park, is closed – effectively killing spring break.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said the changes were necessary
“We can’t have the kinds of crowds we’ve had, the kinds of gatherings we’ve had, we can’t have a Spring Break the way it has happened. We cannot become a petri dish for a very dangerous virus,” said Mayor Dan Gelber.
“I’m kind of disappointed,” said Clarissa Walker, here on spring break from the University of Wisconsin. “I think it is kind of a waste of money now that we came. But I also feel that more people are going to be in small areas since they closed the beach and only certain parts are open, so it kind of defeats the purpose.”
“It’s really upsetting to a lot of spring breakers, especially for the time we are here,but apparently it is good that they are taking things so seriously,” said Antonia Miracola.
Gelber asked that those young people here for spring break understand why the city had to close the beach.
“They feel like they are invincible and nothing can happen. If they act this way and carry this virus elsewhere, their mothers and grandmothers will be at risk,” he said.
Other tourists accept the restrictions.
“I think they have to do it. Miami has people from all over,” said Ann Guz, who is visiting from Springfield, Massachusetts.
“I think they have to, they are taking the right steps. We’re from Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, starting Tuesday night, all restaurants are closed. Bars are closed and gyms,” said Norman Guz.
Assia Slavova, who is visiting from New Jersey, said “I don’t mind. I don’t mind that they are being cautious about what is going on.”
But things could be getting even stricter on the beach.
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Around Miami-Dade businesses like the Riviera restaurant in Midtown Miami are suffering as people decide not to be in large groups and don’t go out to eat.
“I would say business is off 60 to 70 percent. I think people are staying away because they are worried, even though we do everything we can to sanitize this business. This can’t continue,” said restaurant manager Paola Albertoni.
The Centers for Disease Control is recommending gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks to stop the spread of coronavirus. There are currently more than 3,700 confirmed cases nationwide, with 69 deaths.