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Miami Beach temporarily bans panhandling near businesses

Ocean Drive will temporarily become pedestrian only when Miami Beach reopens
Ocean Drive will temporarily become pedestrian only when Miami Beach reopens

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Officials in Miami Beach are temporarily restricting panhandling outside businesses and restaurants.

The order signed Saturday by City Manager Jimmy Morales restricts anyone from panhandling within 50 feet of the door or service window of a business or restaurant.

The city’s legal staff says without a pandemic the order would likely be struck down in court on free-speech grounds.

But during the coronavirus outbreak the city could mount a defensible case in court for the temporary measures.

While the rest of the county enters Phase 1 of reopening Monday, essential businesses can reopen in Miami Beach on Wednesday.