Miami-Dade Imposes Nightly 10 p.m. Curfew and Mandatory Facemask Order UPDATED

Last call for on-premises alcohol throughout Miami-Dade County is now 11:59 p.m...make that 10 p.m.
Last call for on-premises alcohol throughout Miami-Dade County is now 11:59 p.m...make that 10 p.m.
Photo by Laine Doss
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Update published July 3: On Thursday evening, July 2, 2020, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez imposed a countywide curfew beginning at 10 p.m. each night and extending until 6 a.m. the following morning. "During the period of such curfew, no person shall make use of any street or sidewalk for any purpose, except police, fire rescue, first responder, medical, health care, media, and utility repair service personnel," the order reads. The order provides exceptions for essential workers, workers traveling to or from their job, workers making deliveries from essential businesses, and people walking their dogs within 250 feet of their residence.

And in a separate July 2 order on Thursday evening, the mayor ordered the closure of "movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, arcades, indoor amusement facilities, and casinos (except casinos on sovereign tribal land)."

Earlier in the day, Giménez had issued an amendment to the county's April 9 facemask order. The amendment requires that, with few exceptions, "[a]ll persons throughout Miami-Dade County shall wear a mask or other facial covering when in public."

Giménez clarified in a statement that "[p]eople going to restaurants will also have to keep their masks on while seated at their table — removing the mask only to eat and drink. If you are waiting for your meal at a restaurant table, keep your mask on while having a conversation with those around you."

Update published July 1: On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez issued an amendment to Miami-Dade Emergency Order 23-20, extending the order to ban all on-site dining at restaurants from 12:01 a.m. to 6 a.m. daily. The amendment went into effect July 1 and applies to all establishments that seat more than eight people. In a statement released by his office, Giménez said, "We must take this action to tamp down Miami-Dade County’s recent rise in COVID-19 cases. Too many people were crowding into restaurants late at night, turning these establishments into breeding grounds for this deadly virus."

Restaurants and food establishments may continue to operate their kitchens to provide pick-up and delivery service, including alcoholic beverages.

For updates on the county's coronavirus-related regulations, visit miamidade.gov/coronavirus.

Original story follows:

On the cusp of a three-day holiday weekend and in the midst of a pandemic that is seeing COVID-19 infection rates exploding all over Florida, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez has issued an emergency order that prohibits businesses from selling alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption after midnight.

The order states, "Commencing on June 29, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., no establishment permitted to open that serves alcohol shall sell alcohol for on-site consumption between the hours of 12:01 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. each day."

The order also notes that bars, pubs, night clubs, cocktail lounges, cabarets, hookah lounges, and breweries are to remain closed. The order went into effect June 29 at the stroke of midnight.

Unlike the June 26 state order banning bars from selling drinks for on-premises consumption, which had no effect on Miami-Dade because the county's bars hadn't been given the go-ahead to reopen, Giménez's order hits restaurants and their patrons where it hurts — on the bottom line and the liver, respectively. 

Any business that violates the order is to be shut down for a minimum of 24 hours and must then attest in writing that it is complying with the county's orders. Repeat offenders much submit a written compliance plan to the county that is subject to the mayor's approval.

Lest there be any doubt, the City of Miami Beach included the midnight alcohol ban wording in its June 29 mandatory facemask order. Along with the mandate that all people — both indoors and outdoors — must wear a face covering when not social distancing or risk a $50 fine, the order states that "all establishments that are licensed to serve alcoholic beverages must cease the sale of those alcoholic beverages for on-premise consumption between the hours of 12:01 and 6 a.m. each day, and hookah lounges shall remain closed."

Cheeseburger Baby's Stephanie Vitori says the booze ban only serves to punish her regulars. "It's my locals who just want to chill out with a late-night burger and a beer after midnight. Now I can't even give them a cold brew."

The sale of alcoholic beverages from liquor stores and markets is not affected by the order, which also continues to permit the sale of drinks to-go.

With beaches closed July 3-7 and fireworks displays canceled, this might be a good time to order a few six-packs from your local brewery and one of these and stay cool while you hunker down this weekend. 

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