MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With Miami set to begin reopening on Wednesday, Mayor Francis Suarez joined Eliott Rodriguez and Frances Wang to answer some questions on the city’s Phase 1 plan.
Q: What have you seen so far in the parts of South Florida that have opened up that you like, and what gives you concern?
A: I think what I like is that there’s a good faith effort of my other businesses to comply with what is a voluminous set of rules. What gives me concern is that there’s always some times of bad apples or bad actors that spoil it for everyone else. And what we want to avoid is circumstances where people are not following the rules. And that becomes sort of part of a public spectacle. We want to make sure that everyone understands what the rules are. They were given to us late last week on Thursday afternoon, 185 pages of rules, and that they’re able to have enough time to implement them for the opening tomorrow.
Q: Restaurants won’t reopen to dine-in customers for another week. How else is Miami’s Phase 1 reopening different from the rest of South Florida?
A: I think that’s a major difference. We actually had restaurants originally opening in Phase 2. But after discussing it with Miami Beach, Miami Gardens in Hialeah, we decided that it would be best for us to combine efforts. What we didn’t want to see happen was when the county opened up parks and marinas, we had a mad rush to a parks in South Beach. And, unfortunately, since Miami, Hialeah and Miami Gardens didn’t open up parks the same time, Miami Beach had to close South Pointe. So we were talking amongst ourselves and since we hadn’t received any guidance late into the week from the county, we decided to come up with a plan that we all agreed on. And we thought that it was best to go a little bit past, you know, the time when the county wanted to go so that our restaurateurs had the opportunity to, you know, brush up on the rules and follow the rules and get prepared for the open.
Q: How will the city of Miami and force compliance inside businesses and public places?
A: We have three different mechanisms. We obviously have our police department, we have our code compliance department and then we’re going to have goodwill ambassadors that are going to go out to the businesses and they’re going to educate the businesses. Are objective is not necessarily not to enforce. Our objective is to educate and hoping that businesses enforce on our own. We obviously have the ability to close the business down, if we have to, for noncompliance.
Q: What will happen to businesses that if they are not approved to open but they still open anyway? What’s that enforcement going to look like?
A: We have, like I said, the ability to close those businesses down. We hope to not have to do that. We’re hoping that everyone follows rules. I think we’ve taken enough time and energy and we’re going to have a press conference again tomorrow at 10 a.m. to go over what the rules are. On our website www.miamigov.com/reopening, we have all the rules for tomorrow and all the rules for next week and we think that they’re very clear.