MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While it was back to business, in a limited manner, across much of Miami-Dade on Monday, some cities decided to hold off for a few more days.
Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, and Hialeah all plan to allow hundreds of retail stores, barbershops, salons, and other non-essential businesses to reopen on Wednesday, May 20th.
“What we want to avoid is circumstances of people not following the rules and that becomes a part of a public spectacle,” City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said.
In Wynwood, CBS4’s Peter D’Oench found Paul Silva the owner of the men’s multi-brand clothing store BASE taking steps to get ready for Wednesday.
“We are excited to be open again but we are taking precautions and we will see what happens. It has been very difficult but we are hoping for the best. We have already done a deep cleaning to make sure everything is up to par,” he said.
Even though he is allowed to operate at 50% capacity, he said “We are going to keep it at 25% just to be safe.”
Nearby, Margate Suarez was also taking extraordinary measures to prepare Aviator Nation for a reopening.
“I am so excited, I have been counting the days but I hope everyone will be cautious. I just put Lysol over the entire store. We also have curbside pickups between 10 a.m. and 9. p.m. I also put plastic here by the card readers so that when people put in their PIN, it’s easy for us to wipe it down. We have disinfectant spray for everywhere and gloves for everyone and even a thermometer. It’s important for everyone to pay attention. If we take all the important steps, we can get back to normal a lot sooner,” she said.
On Miami Beach, Lorence Vinderman, owner of V.I.P. Hair Studio, said he can’t wait to reopen. He said he’s been closed for two months. When he does reopen, things will be different, like they will only use every other chair.
“We will have it spread out, the barbers, clients. I will be wearing a face shield with a mask underneath. After every client, we’ll take Lysol and clean everything to get ready for the next client. You know, a new beginning,” said Vinderman.
“I am very excited but it has been a very hard two months trying to survive,” he said. “We are preparing for a new day. Everyone will be 6 feet apart and these chairs are clearly separated.”
Ray Corona, the manager of the Ripcurl store on Collins Avenue, said they plan to open at 10 a.m.
“We take every precaution. We have plexiglass, we taped up the floors, we’ve pretty much have been here one week before, really sanitizing everything,” he said. “They gave us a pamphlet that said we’re allowed 50%. We are going to try to keep it to just at 10 people right now to how it goes. The store is big, people can walk around and enjoy that,” he said.
Steve Santacruz, the owner of Empire Ink, plans to open even though tattoo shops are not supposed to open yet.
“I’m looking forward to getting some business going plus I’m looking forward to everything opening up, tourism coming back in, because businesses like mine, we rely on tourism. This is South Beach, everybody knows this is a hotspot of the world, that’s what we rely on, the tourism,” he said.
“We have been closed for two and a half months so think about that, where you go from making money and paying bills to shutting down. It has been very rough for me and my employees,” he added.
Santacruz said they plan to do a lot of sanitizing and if they are told to shut down he’ll deal with that.
We really need your support. We know it’s a very difficult time for everybody. We are here. We are available.” Lotus House Community Outreach Director Beatrice Gonzalez said.
Lotus House is a shelter and helps close to 500 homeless women and children. It’s thrift shop is used to help some of those moms with work and money. They’re waiting on plexiglass and hand sanitizer before allowing customers inside. But they will soon start curbside pickup and accepting donations.
“So when our women and children come in, very often times they have clothing needs we need to access,” she said.
Beaches, bars, movie theaters are also not allowed to reopen on Wednesday.
Miami, Miami Beach, and Hialeah restaurants will have to wait until next week to reopen their sit-in dining rooms. Miami Gardens will not be allowed to open for full-service dining until possibly early June.
“This disease affects African Americans in such a disproportionate way. We think caution is the order of the day,” Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III said. “We don’t want to rush back into gatherings. Our nature is that we like to collectively gather. We like to socialize. We are affectionate people”
Phase 2 of the reopenings is set for May 27th.