MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Every South Florida city is in phase one of the recovery process, but that doesn’t mean all businesses have reopened.
Restaurant dine-in service is still not allowed in Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, and Hialeah. Some plan on restarting it next Wednesday, except Miami Gardens which has not finalized a date.
Bars and gyms remain closed, even in Fort Lauderdale where city leaders reversed an earlier decision to allow gyms to reopen. Mayor Dean Trantalis has told gym owners to remain closed for now.
Jennifer Noll, the operations manager at Coconut Village, oversees four different small businesses. Like many stores around Miami, they have opened with limited capacity, directional arrows for foot traffic, and extra cleaning supplies. For them being two days behind the rest of the county in reopening was no big deal.
“I don’t think it made such a big difference because it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of foot traffic yet so I don’t think it made a big difference,” she said.
It’s still making a big difference for restaurants though. Even though some are seeing people stop by for a meal and a drink to go, employees at places like the Saffron at Grove in Miami are still eager to open up which won’t happen until May 27th.
“We have to cut down the hours of employees to give everybody a chance to work and make some money. The same as the owner gets affected with no income,” said manager Calvin Philips.
In addition to Miami, Hialeah, Miami Gardens, and Miami Beach also joined the rest of the county in reopening. On Lincoln road it was still pretty empty but barbershops and salons saw their fair share of customers.
“It’s a little hectic going through all this. All these new things that you have to wear. It’s a little bit hot underneath all this but you got to follow the rules,” said Lorence Vinderman at the VIP Hair Studio.
In Miami Gardens store owner Philip Nuhan was eager to open up shop. He like many are adhering to the new normal of smaller crowds. Mayor Oliver Gilbert says a slow approach is the right approach.
“We’re starting with this and we want to ease back into this because we need to accommodate people in this new reality. This new reality is that until we find a way to vaccinate against this or cure this we’re going to have to be a lot more cautious,” he said.
And with that said expect to see more cleaning crews around the entire county, shorter store hours at some establishments, and of course masked shoppers.
Some store and restaurant employees said the 50 percent capacity rule is still difficult to navigate as they try to balance the number of employees they can have on a given shift and the foot traffic that comes into their businesses.