By Joan Murray

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The rules on things like masks and social distancing are no doubt confusing, evolving and, in many cases, polarizing. South Florida’s police officers are learning each day as well as they work to keep everyone safe.

Wednesday night on Lincoln Road, Miami Beach Code Enforcement Officer Mounia Jefferson was busy at work.

She was checking restaurants to make sure they are complying with safety measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Masks are a must and she checks to make sure no one is at the bar.

Restaurants can only operate at 50% capacity and tables have to be spread apart for social distancing.

With COVID-19 numbers skyrocketing in South Florida, businesses recovering from the shutdown are under pressure to show they aren’t part of the problem.

But it’s not just on the shoulders of businesses to uphold the rules.

In an interview on CNN, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said he plans to ask the city commission to approve a civil fine of up to $250 for people found not wearing face masks in public.

In Hialeah, city inspectors checked to make sure everyone is following an emergency order to wear a mask anytime in public.

One inspector visited a shopping center where they checked for mask compliance and available hand sanitizer.

The inspector gave one business a verbal warning because the floor wasn’t marked to show social distance of 6 feet.

In Broward County, the 311 call center has fielded about 900 calls of possible violations.

Broward rolled out a new emergency order Wednesday to enforce compliance.

For those in violation, they could be ordered to close for 24 hours to bring the business into compliance.  Once they reopen, they will be inspected again.

And the new enforcement has teeth. Repeat violators can be fined up to $15,000.

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