This week, following Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ (R) executive order to lift the remaining COVID-19 restrictions, Miami Beach announced that it would be canceling the remaining emergency measures. This includes mask requirements in businesses and a ban on the sale of alcohol after 10:00 pm including a room occupancy limit for short-term rentals.
City Manager Alina T. Hudak directed a memo, explaining that she did not plan on imposing any new emergency measure for the city. However, she did note that she would retain Miami Beach’s declaration of a state of emergency, which is to preserve its eligibility to receive federal reimbursements.”
In a statement, Hudak explained that “even though we are suspending our Emergency Order, it’s in everyone’s best interest to continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing.” “We have made great strides in our fight against COVID-19, but we have not yet reached the finish line,” she added.
Ocean Drive will remain closed as part of the city’s outdoor restaurant expansion program.
In a statement, Commissioner Michael Gongora said that “although the idea came about because of the pandemic, the city has the power regardless to expand restaurants into streets and walkways.”
After DeSantis’ announcement, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber laid blame on the Governor for exacerbating the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It feels like he’s spiking the ball on the 10-yard line,” Gelber said, adding that DeSantis has “been following political ideology more than science during this whole pandemic.”
A number of other Mayors have also expressed concerns over the Governor’s announcement including Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levin Cava and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.
Cava could only warn Floridian to “continue using common sense to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and most importantly, to get vaccinated” because “it’s our best and only path forward to putting this pandemic behind us.”