By Ted Scouten

MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – The party is over in Miami Beach’s entertainment district as the city issues a new 8 p.m. curfew in South Beach.

The new curfew will take effect on July 18, at 12:01 a.m.

  • Ocean Drive between from 5 Street to 15 Street will be closed to all vehicular traffic at all times.
  • Parking will be prohibited in the area bounded by 5 Street on the south, 15 Street on the north, Ocean Drive on the east, and Collins Avenue on the west.
  • All businesses within the Entertainment District, excluding some side streets, must be closed by 8 p.m. daily.
  • All restaurants, cafeterias and food service establishments within the Entertainment District, must be closed by 8 p.m. daily. However, these businesses can keep their kitchens open for delivery services only. Take out, pick up, or curb side pick up is not allowed between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • No loud music is allowed and all live entertainment is prohibited.

These new restrictions are being imposed due to large gatherings of young people on Ocean Drive and across South Beach amid a rising number of coronavirus cases.

The restrictions extaned to Washington Avenue, officials announced.

South Beach is normally the life of the party — but now — that’s not the plan.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said he sees people not wearing masks and hanging out in groups, all things that are against the COVID 19 regulations.

“There has been some adherence to the mask rules, not nearly enough. At some points, it was resembling a bit of a party, an outdoor party. We can’t have anything resembling Bourbon Street right now in our community,” said Gelber.

Beginning this weekend, expect 20 additional Miami Beach police officers on the street — along with more than a dozen officers from Miami-Dade. Park rangers and code enforcement are out too. The idea is to educate people about the rules and if that doesn’t work — get tougher.

“But I think we’re going to have to go to that next if we just aren’t getting significant compliance and actually give people a ticket, a 50 dollar ticket for not wearing a mask,” said Gelber.

“We came from Bogalusa, Louisiana. It’s my birthday!” said Richelle Short.

Short and her friends were hoping for a fun birthday weekend, but are well aware of the rules and curfew and that’s OK with them.

“It’s all for safety and I don’t want to bring anything back to my family,” said Short.

Aleisha knew exactly what to expect when she and her friends arrived From Pittsburgh.

“We’re still having a good time. Hospitality is great. The weather’s beautiful, the beach is beautiful except for that seaweed out there, I don’t like that. Everything else has been awesome,” she said

And for those who don’t understand why they can’t just do as they please and keep the party going, the mayor has a reminder.

“The virus is spreading in our community wildly. It just is. We have over 240 people on ventilators, that’s well over the high mark of a few months ago, we’ve got over 2000 people in the hospital and over 400 in intensive care. So this is a very serious thing,” said Gelber

The bottom line, follow the rules, wear your mask, social distance, do not be in large crowds, obey the curfew, and the mayor says you should not have any problems.

Ted Scouten

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