Original story follows:
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez says he's targeting May 18 as the date to begin reopening restaurant dining rooms in Miami-Dade County.
In a video press conference held early this afternoon, Giménez mentioned the mid-May target date as a time to "start opening sectors of the economy."
Giménez said he'd spoken with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who agrees Miami-Dade should begin to pull back on the closures that have been in place since the middle of March. "There is a light at the end of the tunnel," the mayor said, adding that Broward County will likely reopen in a similar timeframe.
Giménez was hesitant to provide many details, including what businesses might be allowed to reopen and what restrictions would be placed on them. "I want to make sure that seniors and at-risk persons are protected," he said.
He did not specifically address the food industry until WMEN (640-AM) sports-talk host Andy Slater asked whether restaurants and professional sports are likely to be part of the initial wave of reopenings. Giménez replied that restaurants would likely be included but that he has not held any discussions with Miami's Major League Baseball club. (MLB's internal discussions, including input from the White House coronavirus task force, are ongoing.)
Giménez said the decision to reopen was reached with input from local businesses and professionals from the Florida Department of Health, Florida International University, the University of Miami, and Jackson Health System.
This past Monday, Governor DeSantis ordered that restaurants in Florida be allowed to reopen their dining rooms but specifically exempted Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. The governor's order, based on guidelines recently issued by the White House, permitted dining rooms to open at 25 percent capacity and with outdoor seating that allows for six feet of space between tables. Physical-distancing rules remain in effect, with facemasks recommended. Groups of ten or more are prohibited, and bars remain closed.