MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Miami-Dade and Broward joined the rest of the state in Phase 2 reopenings on Monday, but with restrictions. However, while South Florida further eases COVID restrictions, one segment of the economy is demanding change.
On Monday, bar owners, bartenders, club operators and staff demonstrated in Fort Lauderdale and the Wynwood section of Miami, begging county leaders to reopen bars.
While the rest of Florida has reopened bars and nightclubs, leaders in both South Florida counties say the threat of spreading the virus remains strong and there will no reopening of bars at this time.
Workers say the six-month shutdown has been devastating.
“We live on tips and making people happy. We are at home with no one to help,” said Club Space bartender Roger Lords.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez says he is exploring helping bars.
“I have been talking to see what it would look like to see if they can open at some point. The conversation has begun,” he said.
In Broward, where the infection rate has been below five percent steadily, they are waiting to see whether the downward trend holds and they’re waiting to see if Labor Day had an impact.
Miami-Dade’s two-week average positivity rate for new cases is 5.74%. In Broward, it’s 3.68%.
Both counties continue to strictly enforce social distancing and mandatory mask wearing with fines enforced.
Phase 2 statewide allows gyms, shops, hair and nail salons, along with restaurants, to operate at 75% capacity but in Miami-Dade and Broward, restaurants and retail stores are still operating at 50 percent capacity.
In Miami-Dade, the curfew has been extended an hour until 11 pm starting Monday night.
Parks can stay open until 10 pm.
Tour boats and non-fishing charters can operate at 50 percent capacity and you can rent scooters once again.
Miami-Dade entertainment venues, such as movie theaters, bowling alleys, playhouses, and arcades can operate at 50% capacity.
Indoor entertainment centers, outdoor amusement and outdoor recreation facilities can also reopen in Phase 2, but not all attractions are reopening right away.
Phase two also clears the way for the school districts to talk about a voluntary return to in-class learning.
Broward has a workshop to discuss that on September 22nd.
Miami-Dade has meetings to talk about it this week.