MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, and Hialeah took the next step toward the ‘new normal’ on Wednesday by allowing many non-essential businesses to open with restrictions.
Miami also lifted its citywide stay-at-home order is lifted, nightly curfew, and opened a number of city parks.
“It’s vital that we begin getting Miamians back to work and get our economy up and running again, but we have to do it the right way,” said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez in a statement. “COVID-19 is not gone or over, so we need to continue following the rules to protect our health.”
Businesses allowed to reopen included offices, shopping centers, retail stores, marinas, and personal grooming businesses.
Bar, gyms, fitness centers, entertainment venues, casinos, massage businesses, and tattoo parlors were not allowed to open.
There will be a number of rules that will be enforced in the cities for businesses that open.
- Facial coverings must be worn at all times while in retail establishments.
- Hand sanitizing dispensers or sanitizer shall be available at entrances and in common areas.
- Customer queues at cashiers shall be spaced out with floor markers (every 6 ft).
- Fitting rooms shall remain closed.
- Occupancy shall be limited to 50 percent of mall/store occupancy.
- Ensure there is a single point of entrance (exits shall not be locked or obstructed).
- Signs shall be placed outside and inside elevators to limit capacity to 4 passengers, with visual markers for passengers to stand on.
- Merchandise, particularly clothing, must be cleaned prior to being handled by customers and returned to shelves or display racks.
- Cart and basket handles shall be sanitized between uses.
- Car valet services are prohibited.
- One-way circulation paths inside stores shall be marked with arrows at entry and exit points.
- CDC signage shall be posted in publicly trafficked locations emphasizing measures to “Stop the Spread of Germs” (CDC) and exercise social responsibility (e.g., hygiene).
- Stores/malls shall post a contact email address and/or telephone number for customers.
More restrictive rules are in place in Miami for personal grooming businesses, such as salons, spas, and barbershops, where employees and customers generally come into closer proximity.
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“Now is not the time to forget about any of these guidelines,” said Gelber. “It’s incredibly important to remember them right now. We don’t want to get this wrong.”
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said the city has a group of ambassadors that can report people not following the rules to police, fire, and code enforcement. The initial goal, Mayor Suarez said, is education.
Despite these changes, persons with pre-existing health conditions that elevate their risk of contracting COVID-19 are encouraged to continue sheltering in place.
“I can’t wait to welcome our patrons again,” said Fiorella Blanco, one of the owners of Fratelli Milano in Downtown Miami.
Tables at the popular Italian restaurant are spread out and employees were wearing masks in the kitchen.
Blanco’s restaurant along with restaurants in the cities of Miami, Hialeah, and Miami Beach can open at limited capacity next Wednesday.
Miami Gardens will not be allowed to open for dine-in service until possibly early June.
“The use of the mask, and the gloves, and washing your hands in between changing of the gloves, it takes some training. So that’s what we’re focusing on right now,” Blanco said.
In Coconut Grove, foot traffic was slow on day one, but stores were happy to display their open signs.
“Well, for this week we kind of did a soft opening,” said Jennifer Nolls, the operations manager at Coconut Village.
At the Coconut Village, there are four stores in one. But plenty of social distancing markers and sanitizer for customers.
In Downtown Miami, members of the Downtown Enhancement Group are constantly cleaning off surfaces like benches and a public restroom near Bayfront Park.
“Whatever is touched by the human being is going to be safe,” said Commissioner Manolo Reyes. Reyes is the Chairman of the Miami Downtown Development Agency.
On a zoom call on Wednesday, mayors for cities within Miami-Dade County said they are looking at options to expand seating for restaurants limited to 50 percent capacity.
Mayors for Miami, Hialeah, Miami Beach, and Miami Gardens agreed they are hoping to help restaurants implement sidewalk or street seating for customers.