25 percent capacity for in-room dining starts today in Palm Beach, other counties expected to follow next week. Miami-Dade on track to reopen some businesses Monday
Beginning today, Palm Beach county is allowing select businesses to reopen, including restaurants and retail, at 25 percent capacity. Miami-Dade and Broward counties may also be lifting their restrictions, according to Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez in a press conference, as early as May 18, but details on what that might look like have yet to be released.
Palm Beach is following the state of Florida’s guidelines when it comes to phase one reopening restaurants, which means restaurants can operate at no more than 25 percent capacity, with tables being located six-feet apart, and groups no larger than 10 can be seated together. Outdoor seating should be prioritized, and people cannot wait for their table inside. Bar areas inside restaurants along with standalone bars that make more than 50 percent of their revenue off liquor sales must remain closed.
Florida currently has more than 40,000 cases and 1,700 deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than half of them in South Florida
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Tuesday Gov. Ron DeSantis supports the plan to reopen some non-essential businesses on Monday, but the guidelines to slow the coronavirus’ spread are still in the works.
The list of businesses includes restaurants, hair and nail salons, retail stores, factories, and warehouses. Gimenez said the reopening of beaches is not included in this phase.
“You’re going to be wearing masks. You’re going to have separation. There’s going to be capacity limitations on businesses,” Gimenez said at a food distribution event Tuesday outside of Marlins Park in Little Havana.
Gimenez said he expects more Miami-Dade residents to test positive for the contagious respiratory illness as testing increases during the reopening process. He said Miami-Dade’s hospital capacity is sufficient.
“I look at how many people are in the hospital, how many people need ventilators, what’s the capacity of our health system to cover,” Gimenez said. “We have well over 3,000 empty hospital room beds. We have over 900 empty ventilators.”
Gimenez said the guidelines should be available to the public within the next couple of days. County officials will be coordinating efforts with Broward County and Miami-Dade municipalities.