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Broward mayor says curfew will be considered as spring break nears

Would only go in place if bars and restaurants don’t enforce masks and social distancing

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – As spring break approaches, Broward Mayor Steve Geller said Thursday that the county will pursue a curfew ordinance that could be enacted at a moment’s notice if bars and restaurants that serve alcohol do not comply with COVID-19 safety measures.

Geller said that idea was the “overwhelming” consensus out of a call with the city mayors across the county earlier Thursday. The plan would be to not enact the curfew right away, but to create a framework in case it becomes necessary — with a potential curfew beginning at 11 p.m. or midnight.

“It is my hope that we will not need to enact it,” Geller said. “It is my hope that the bars and restaurants that serve alcohol will act responsibly.”

Shutting down the beaches is not in the current plans, Geller said. Mayors of coastal cities expressed concern about that on their call.

He added that the county will put out messaging on social media that details: “If you come to Broward County during spring break, this is not what you have seen in past years. You must follow our rules and our rules are clear. You must wear masks in public and you must social distance.”

Geller said he would be taking those plans to the county commission.

The mayor began his remarks by reminding residents to wear masks, pointing out that he’s now wearing two of them.

“Now is not the time to let out guard down,” he said.

Geller said he is expecting a 10-20% leap in COVID-19 cases in the coming days after gatherings for the Super Bowl.

The mayor also spoke about the increased vaccine supply headed to Florida.

“While the vaccine supply continues to increase we still don’t have enough,” he said.

Geller did say, though, that all Broward senior citizens who want a vaccine should receive at least their first dose by the end of March. He had said earlier this week that all adults in the county who want vaccines could be able to get shots by May based on the current pace.


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