MIAMI – The process of reopening South Florida amid the coronavirus pandemic continues on Monday, as Miami-Dade County restaurants will have new rules to follow.
The guidelines will allow for indoor dining, and casinos are following new protocol as well.
For the first time in months, restaurant owners can open their dining rooms, but there are restrictions and rules to follow.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez banned indoor dining in early July due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.
With those cases now declining, and with the positivity rates at six percent in the county, Gimenez is allowing people to eat inside once again.
Ani Meinhold, general manager of Phuc Yea restaurant in Miami, said she’s been aggressively doing takeout and delivery to make up for the decline in customers and capacity, but she’s grateful she will be allowed to reopen her trendy dining room.
“Dining outdoors has come with its challenges,” she said. “Every added table is great we are hoping people want to come out and continue to support the restaurant.”
There will still be some restrictions. Dining room capacities are limited to 50 percent, no more than six people at a table, doors and windows must be open to allow for fresh air to circulate, and air conditioning and fans must be on while people are inside the restaurant.
Casinos will also reopen Monday, with food and drink consumption allowed in specific areas designated for eating. Eating will not be allowed at gaming tables and slot machines. The casino shutdown hasn’t affected tribal owned casinos.
Meantime, Meinhold hopes the cases stay low and that people follow proper safety precautions so that they don’t have to revert back to outdoor dining only.
“If everyone continues to do what they are supposed to do, then that ensures that we won’t have to go through these spikes, and the opening and the closing and we get life back to normal,” she said.
Restaurant patrons will still need to wear masks when they are not eating or drinking.