MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez issued an emergency order to close hotels and other lodging as a measure to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“I signed an emergency order to close hotels, motels and other lodging establishments throughout Miami-Dade County,” Gimenez said in a video message posted Saturday morning.

Exceptions will be made for first responders, displaced visitors or residents, domestic violence victims, airline crew members, patients’ families, and journalists from out of town.

“The exceptions are made [for] only those who absolutely must be in Miami-Dade County because they are helping in this emergency, or those who have nowhere else to go,” said Gimenez.

An order was also issued to stop boats from “rafting up” for partying at sea or in Biscayne Bay.

Short-term vacation rentals must end by Monday, March 23rd.

No new rental agreements must be entered into on a nightly or weekly basis starting Monday.

A 7News crew who went inside the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Miami saw only airline crew members staying there. They said occupancy is very low.

Late Saturday night, Gimenez tweeted out that he is also ordering the closing of boat ramps and marinas.

Gimenez’s move comes one day after Miami Beach Miami Mayor Dan Gelber made a similar announcement, ordering lodging establishment will close and a midnight curfew will be implemented.

Gimenez also urged business owners not to lay off workers yet, because they may be eligible for federal assistance.

“We do not want your business to be penalized and not get the relief that you need,” he said.

Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.


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