Miami-Dade mayor wants restaurants to open Monday at 50% capacity

County wants to allow hair and nail salons to reopen at 25% capacity with plexiglass partitions

Mayor Carlos Gimenez says Miami-Dade is on track for Monday reopening

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Mayor Carlos Gimenez released Miami-Dade County’s new guidelines on Wednesday afternoon aiming to reopen some nonessential businesses on Monday.

The 184-page document is a proposal that Gimenez sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis in an effort to allow some people to get back to work -- while the risk of the spread of the coronavirus disease remains.

DeSantis still has to approve Gimenez’s plan. DeSantis’ first reopening order limited restaurant and retail capacity to 25%.

“I don’t think most restaurants can reach 50% capacity, once we establish those criteria for the table distancing and social distancing, but at least it gets them more,” Gimenez said.

Restaurant Capacity in Miami-Dade (Miami-Dade)

Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry told Broward commissioners Tuesday Miami-Dade “would like to go to 50%, but they know that they can’t.”

If DeSantis’ approves the guidelines, Miami-Dade would be allowing restaurants to operate with a 50% indoor capacity and hair and nail salons with a 25% capacity.

Miami-Dade will be requiring the businesses to have a layout that encourages employees and customers to maintain 6-foot distancing. Cleanliness and personal protective equipment will also be required.

In this Wednesday, April 8, 2020, file photo, Harry Varela, right, wears a protective mask as he talks with a woman requesting an unemployment form at a Miami-Dade County library in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


While the 50% indoor capacity would be allowed, cafeterias, diners and fast-food restaurants would also be allowed to provide the rest of the 50% capacity in outdoor seating, according to the guidelines.

“We are also encouraging here in Miami-Dade what we could do to allow some of these restaurants to start to go outside maybe into the sidewalk, maybe into the parking lot, and establish again 100% of their capacity, but outside,” Gimenez said. "

Restauranteurs will be required to keep seating at bar counters closed and to limit each table to four people.

Miami-Dade County mayor sets May 18 for start of reopening


Personal grooming stores such as barbershops and hair and nail salons will be required to practice 6-foot distancing rules, and the capacity allowed will be 25%.

Officials want the establishments to install a plexiglass barrier between salon chairs, operate by appointment only, and only welcome customers inside while they are receiving a service.

Waiting areas are discouraged.

Grooming salons (Local 10 News)

Employees must wear face shields, face masks and gloves. Customers must wear a face mask. Officials also want salon owners to provide disinfection spray, discard old magazines, discourage the use of cash, and e-mail receipts.

Miami-Dade County is also encouraging companies to reduce the in-office workforce to 50% “by encouraging employees to telecommute if possible.”

A passenger dressed in protective gear against the new coronavirus stands in a public bus, Tuesday, April 28, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)


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About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.