Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez recently released the first draft of the guidelines local businesses should expect to follow as Phase I of the reopening begins. The 184-page New Normal Guide has been prepared for Governor Ron DeSantis to review. Under DeSantis’ approval, certain non-essential businesses will be allowed to reopen with rigid capacity and safety rules in place.
The guide has been released early to ensure that local businesses are given enough time to prepare for the changes to the operation of their businesses. The draft includes protocols for many industries that are set to reopen, including retail, small businesses, personal grooming, arts and culture, office buildings, shopping centers, restaurants, hotels, and others.
It is also specified that certain establishments will not be allowed to reopen just yet. These include bars, night clubs, banquet halls, cabarets, movie theaters, pools, gyms, and others. All recommendations for which businesses should reopen were approved by doctors and medical experts from the Florida Department of Health, Jackson Health System (U-Health) and the infectious disease experts at Florida International University and the University of Miami.
In addition, planning for the reopening was done in collaboration with medical industry experts and government partners, both of which are laid out in the guide. The Miami Dade County response to COVID-19 was quick and responsible, and it is up to the businesses, residents, and government to continue to protect public health during the reopening.
Initially, dining was restricted in restaurants, theaters were closed, and most large gathering establishments were shut down in order to protect those most vulnerable to the virus. Social distancing guidelines were imposed, parks and other open spaces were closed, as were non-essential businesses. The Safer at Home protocols in Miami Dade County became the model for the state.
Through the combined efforts of businesses, residents, and the government, Miami-Dade County was able to flatten the curve and drive the number of cases and hospitalizations downward. As a community, we are now working toward a new normal.
Part of this new normal includes restaurants being required to have a self-dispensing hand sanitizer station, limiting capacity in elevators and parking garages, and creating floor markings that adhere to the social distancing guidelines of remaining six feet apart. Restaurants will also have to make regular announcements reminding customers and employees to wash their hands.
Additionally, Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez has announced plans to reopen beaches and expand hotel guests beyond essential workers starting June 1st. However, officials in Broward County have decided that beginning May 26, closures will be lifted from hotels, beaches, and commercial gyms.
After the reopening, indicators will be tracked for increases. In the event that there is an increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 in the county, restrictions will be reimplemented.