Miami-Dade Orders Indoor Restaurant Dining Rooms to Close, Broward Tightens Restaurant Rules UPDATED

Citing the COVID-19 spike, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Giménez has again banned on-premises dining throughout the county.
Citing the COVID-19 spike, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Giménez has again banned on-premises dining throughout the county. Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images
Update published July 20: The Miami Beach city manager has declared an 8 p.m. curfew for the two main commercial and entertainment areas in South Beach through July 24, 2020.

The curfew applies to businesses located within the mixed-use entertainment district (MXE district) between Fifth and Sixteenth streets and the commercial, medium-intensity district (CD2 district) between Pennsylvania Avenue and Collins Court from Fifth Street to Sixteenth Street, excluding the portion of Espanola Way between Washington Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue).

All businesses in those zones must close by 8 p.m. daily. Food-service establishments may continue to operate from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., but only for the purpose of providing delivery services. Takeout, pick-up, and curbside pickup are expressly prohibited during those hours, as are live entertainment and music that exceeds the volume of normal conversation.

In addition, the order closes the entirety of Ocean Drive from Fifth Street to Fifteenth Street to all vehicular traffic at all times, until further notice.

Update published July 8: An emergency order signed today by Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry closes any Broward restaurant that violates the county's mandatory social distancing and mask ruling for 24 hours for a first violation. Subsequent violations will close restaurants for 72 hours for each violation. Restaurants are also required to restrict parties to six people or less per table (unless everyone is from the same household, in which case 10 people are allowed per table), and must close their dining rooms between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily. Takeout, delivery, and drive-through services are allowed past 10 p.m.

Update published July 8:
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A.Gimenez's order closing indoor restaurant dining now goes into effect Thursday, July 9 at 12:01 a.m. A previous version of this story included the mayor's intention of closing restaurant dining rooms on July 8.

According to the order, "on-site dining at restaurants and cafeterias is limited to outdoor service only between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. each day. Such establishments may operate their kitchens between the hours of 10 p.m. each night and 6 a.m. the next morning only for the purpose of providing delivery, pick-up, room service, or take out services."

The order also beefs up facemask requirements in gyms and fitness centers and limits allowable short-term rentals (e.g., Airbnb arrangements), presumably to crack down on house parties.

Update published July 7: Late last night, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez updated his order earlier in the day that would have closed all Miami-area restaurants for all but takeout and delivery.

The update permits "outdoor dining, where possible, to continue, with restrictions that include tables of no more than four patrons, appropriate distancing, and music played at a level that does not require shouting, to prevent the emission of potentially dangerous airborne droplets."

In addition, gyms are now allowed to remain open. A previous version of this story included the mayor's stated intention to close gyms in Miami-Dade.

For updates on the county's coronavirus-related regulations, visit

Original July 6 story follows:

Just weeks after restaurants in Miami were given the go-ahead to open their dining rooms, they're being ordered to close again.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez tweeted that he will sign an emergency order that shuts down all "restaurants (except for takeout and delivery services), along with ballrooms, banquet facilities, party venues, and short-term rentals."

The order goes into effect Thursday, July 9.

In a press release posted earlier today on the county's website, Gimenez says the order allows for outdoor activities to remain open (including condo and hotel pools), along with office buildings, retail stores, and grooming services.

Miami-Dade beaches will remain open — albeit with the threat of closure.

"If we see crowding and people not following the public health rules, I will be forced to close the beaches again," the mayor cautioned.
The 10-p.m.-to-6-a.m. countywide curfew, which Gimenez ordered on July 3, remains in effect.

The new orders are a response to the spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the state. According to the Florida Department of Health, Miami-Dade has logged nearly 50,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths. Gimenez cited a spike in cases involving 18- to 34-year-olds that began in mid-June, adding that contributing factors included "graduation parties, gatherings at restaurants that turned into packed parties in violation of the rules and street protests where people could not maintain social distancing and where not everyone was wearing facial coverings."

The mayor urged everyone to stay home and to abide by the countywide requirement to wear facemasks and keep at least six feet apart from others while in public spaces. "I am counting on you, our 2.8 million residents, to stop the spread so that we can get back to opening our economy."

He also offered a hotline to report violations: 305-4-POLICE.

Over the past week, Gimenez has been rolling back the reopening plan he initiated on May 18. On June 29, he banned on-premises alcohol service after midnight. Two days later, he ordered that restaurants seating more than eight people must cease service from 12:01 to 6 a.m. Then came the July 2 facemask order, which Gimenez made clear required patrons dining at restaurants to keep their masks on unless actually eating or drinking. The following day, the mayor closed movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, arcades, indoor amusement facilities, and casinos (except casinos on sovereign tribal land). He also declared the 10 p.m. nightly curfew.

Even before Gimenez's spate of orders, several Miami restaurants were reclosing their dining rooms voluntarily.

Last week, when Cafe La Trova closed its doors temporarily, partner David Martinez cited the health and safety of patrons as the deciding factor. "I want to make it clear that no one was sick at the restaurant, but COVID-19 cases keep rising in Miami," Martinez told New Times. And even with all the protocols in place, we felt like we were putting our staff and customers more at risk by staying open."
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss