MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami Beach city officials are cracking down even more than Miami-Dade County — moving a curfew up for parts of the South Beach entertainment district starting Saturday to 8 p.m.
The countywide curfew is already in place beginning at 10 p.m. nightly. Both curfews last until 6 a.m.
The move will only affect businesses in the city’s entertainment district — along Ocean Drive, Collins, and Washington Avenues — between 5th and 16th Streets.
The new order also forces restaurants to turn away outdoor diners starting promptly at 8 p.m. Restaurants had already been under order to not have their indoor dining open.
Kitchens can remain open but only for delivery. This is the latest strategy aimed at stopping the spread of covid-19, which some restaurant owners said is going to hurt their businesses even more, which are already suffering from months of closures.
The earliier curfew is an effort to keep large crowds from gathering, according to city officials.
The earlier curfews — and existing countywide mask mandate — are what Miami Mayor Francis Suarez believes will help slow down the infection rates.
"We have evidence that shows that the mask in public rule is really the big delta, the big change," Suarez said.
On Friday, Suarez announced officials will stop issuing warnings to any breaking the rules on wearing a mask in public or other protocols, such as proper social distancing. Instead code and law enforcement will start handing out citations immediately. Those fines carry a $100 fine for individuals and a $500 fine for businesses caught to not be in compliance with the county’s New Normal guidelines.