MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The ongoing increase of COVID-19 cases in South Florida has sparked a mask mandate across Miami-Dade County, but the rules may change with the zip code, leaving many residents confused.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was seen handing out donated masks in Allapattah on Tuesday. He said the mandate that was announced along with more than a dozen other local mayors, is still being finalized.
In the meantime, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and local leaders are cracking down on busineses that are not following the rules, and several South Florida spots have already been cited or ordered shut.
Local 10 News' Liane Morejon joined Miami Beach Code Compliance Officer Anthony Pérez for a ride-along on Tuesday night.
He responded to complaints on Lincoln Road and visited businesses in Sunset Harbour to ensure that all safety protocols were being followed.
These regulations were put in place to help the businesses operate safely in the age coronavirus.
DeSantis said Tuesday the time for education is over and that a crackdown was under way, adding that egregious violations of his emergency orders will bring what he’s calling “the grim reaper” to offending businesses.
“If you go in and it’s just like mayhem, like dance party USA and it’s packed to the rafters, that’s just cut and dry and that’s not just an innocent mistake,” DeSantis said.
There are businesses in both Miami-Dade & Broward Counties that have been shut down for 24 hours in response to egregious rule breaking.
“That means they’re shut down, they’re shut down,” Perez said, but quickly adding that he takes no pleasure in closing businesses.
“Even though my job here is for compliance and enforcement…I hate to be that guy that delivers the heavy hand.”