MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Miami Beach’s efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus, including the “Safer at Home” emergency order, has turned the city into a virtual “ghost town.”
On South Beach, the normally bustling Clevelander Hotel was empty Tuesday morning.
Beaches, hotels, restaurant dining rooms – all closed.
“Because it is so empty, personally I am so thankful because people are thankfully listening,” said Dana Grodin.
Not many people were on Ocean Drive, just a few joggers and bikers. Most visitors have left.
“It is just like a hurricane. Everything here is just in that quiet mood,” said Brian.
The new “Safer at Home” emergency order went into effect on Tuesday at 12:01 a.m.
During the overnight hours, most people are not allowed to be out and about, however, Miami Beach police won’t be stopping people if they are out stretching their legs or going to pick up food.
“Stay at home unless you’re going to exercise or to go to some of those essential services, like food, or your pharmacy,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said when announcing the order on Monday.
The city still allowing the following:
- Essential Retail (groceries; medical care; restaurants – pick up, take out or delivery; banking)
- Religious Activities (subject to social distancing)
- Personal Support Activities (caring for family or friends)
- Essential Work (to and from businesses permitted to remain open)
The nightly curfew goes from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. until further notice.
Over the last few weeks, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber has taken several steps to limit gatherings.
Business owners like Andy Dunkis, who is also the general manager of TGI Fridays on Ocean Drive at 5th Avenue, said he knew they are going to take a hit when the Ultra Music Festival and spring break were canceled.
“We went from making a lot of money to nothing. Nothing. I don’t have a staff now. I have just managers and even my managers are in the wind right now not knowing what is going on,” he said.
Restaurants on Miami Beach can only serve takeout or delivery. Dunkis said it’s devastating but they will make the best of it.
“We gotta deal with what we have to do as a community in order to contain the problems that are at hand,” he said.
The city said those violate these Miami Beach’s “Safer at Home” emergency order will face penalties.