Apparently, No One in Miami Knew There Was a COVID Curfew

Do not pass go, do not leave the crib after 10 p.m.
Do not pass go, do not leave the crib after 10 p.m. Photo by Paul Sableman/Flickr
click to enlarge Do not pass go, do not leave the crib after 10 p.m. - PHOTO BY PAUL SABLEMAN/FLICKR
Do not pass go, do not leave the crib after 10 p.m.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Miami was known for its late nights that turned into way-too-early mornings. But a countywide curfew has put a pause on any kind of nightlife in the Magic City.

In theory, anyway.

On July 3, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez instated a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily, hoping to "tamp down" a spike in COVID-19 cases cropping up at that time.

The goal was to crack down on large parties that were reportedly spreading the virus. But almost two months later, the curfew is still in effect, and Gimenez said earlier this week that it won't be lifted for a while.

That was apparently news to more than a few Miami residents. A tweet from local news aggregator @aileenwthenews about the extension of Gimenez's curfew sparked dozens of comments from people unaware that there'd ever been a curfew.

"We've been on curfew????? LMAO," one person responded.

Another chimed in: "I literally forgot curfew was still a thing."
Per the county order, essential workers — including first responders, hospital employees, food-delivery workers, and media members — are exempted from the curfew, but anyone else found outside after 10 p.m. can be cited with a code violation. Business owners who keep their businesses open past curfew or exceed capacity limits can be fined up to $500 or ordered to close.

Police across the county have been busy ticketing people for violations. Over the weekend, Miami-Dade officers cited one group of men for operating a makeshift strip club after hours and another group for running an illicit nightclub. Days earlier, Miami cops fined the owner of Mister O1 pizzeria after a pair of customers lingered two minutes past the curfew.

Nevertheless, the majority of Miamians who replied to Aileen's tweet are still livin' la vida loca.
The number of new cases of COVID-19 has been trending downward lately in Miami-Dade, according to a county dashboard. On Tuesday, Gimenez announced that restaurants can reopen for indoor dining on August 31, so Miamians may be cautiously optimistic about returning to normal.

Or maybe the rules didn't matter to them anyway.
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Joshua Ceballos is staff writer for Miami New Times. He is a Florida International University alum and a born-and-bred Miami boy.
Contact: Joshua Ceballos