Gyms reopen next week in Miami-Dade; Beaches and bars must wait

Summer camp programs also permitted to begin on Monday

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Thursday that gyms and wellness centers would be among the businesses permitted to reopen on Monday.

This includes other fitness centers, such as yoga studios, dance studios and martial arts studios.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Re-Open Florida Task Force recommended that gyms and fitness centers be allowed to operate at up to 75 percent of its building’s capacity when they first reopen.

Social distancing measures and health precautions, such as frequent cleaning of machines and other high-touch surfaces will be in place.

“People are calling us constantly to please open our doors,” said Karina Ward, of Orangetheory Fitness.

The fitness industry has been clamoring to open, and confused why they couldn’t, insisting that health is their business.

“All the discussions that I had with gym owners, particularly boutique gym owners -- they demonstrated to me that they were more than capable of implementing the kind of safety measures that were necessary to have people working out,” City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said.

Gimenez said summer camps will also be allowed to begin their programs on Monday.

Vacation home rentals will also be allowed to resume beginning next week after the county received approval of its plan by the state.

“That plan allows no more than 10 people in a vacation home,” the mayor said. “Police will crack down on any parties. We do not want crowds because we know that that’s where the virus can spread.”

Despite the reopening of more businesses, the county still remains in Phase 1 of its reopening plan.

[Click here to view the reopening rundown for Miami-Dade and Broward counties]

In regards to Miami-Dade’s beaches, which were supposed to reopen this week, the mayor said all beaches will remain closed until he lifts the county’s midnight curfew.

Gimenez said he wants to assess how protests in South Florida and around the country evolve before deciding to lift the curfew.

“[The beach] is a place where people can congregate,” Gimenez said. “Also, the same people who will be enforcing rules at the beaches are now somewhat busy making sure the demonstrations are peaceful.”

Also still waiting? Free-standing bars and lounges.

Roni’s by the Ocean can serve drinks as a restaurant, but the bar is closed.

“It’s really not fair, but the situation is the situation,” said owner Roni Mualem, who feels for his fellow bar owners who don’t have a food component to their business and can’t reopen.

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