MIAMI – City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and other city leaders held a virtual news conference Monday to discuss the city’s phased reactivation plan to help Miami residents and businesses begin returning to normal following the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are going to be cautious in this process,” Suarez said.
The mayor said the city will reopen in three phases, and cautioned that the reopening plan in the city will likely be somewhat different from the county's plans.
According to Suarez, Miami-Dade County is expected to reopen marinas, golf courses and parks in its Phase 1, which could come this week, but said the city’s marinas and parks will likely remain closed for some time.
He said he and other city officials need to look through the county’s plan and said that policing reopened areas is a concern.
According to Suarez, the city is considering lifting its curfew and shelter-in-place order for non-vulnerable residents during Phase 1 but said that decision is not yet final.
He said parks and Virginia Key would be reopened in Phase 1, but social distancing requirements will still be in place.
He said he fully supports Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber’s decision to keep Miami Beach closed for some time due to the large volume of people that visit the hot spot.
In Miami, some businesses would be allowed to reopen, but would not be able to operate with more than 25 percent of its occupancy limit during Phase 1. Alcohol service establishments, casinos and race tracks will remain closed, the mayor said.
Restaurants will remain in their current status of being open for delivery or take-out only.
In Phase 2, Suarez said no business in the city of Miami will be allowed to operate with more than 50 percent of its occupancy limit.
Restaurants will open for dining-in service, but parties will likely have to sit 6 feet apart.
Movies theaters and other venues will also reopen with social distancing requirements in place.
Vulnerable people, however, should remain sheltered in place, Suarez said.
In Phase 3, vulnerable residents of Miami are urged to have limited interactions in public while obeying social distancing requirements.
The mayor said all people should consider the amount of time they spend in crowded spaces.
Suarez said city officials will not hesitate to put restrictions back in place if people are not respecting the rules.
“That’s one of the things we want to avoid,” Suarez said.
The mayor said everyone should also continue to practice good hygiene during all phases, including by washing their hands frequently and using a tissue and covering their mouths while coughing or sneezing.
“Until we have a vaccine, we need to respect this new normal,” Suarez said.
A time frame for the phases to roll out has not yet been decided.