MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Business owners across South Florida are stressing safety precautions as they prepare to reopen next week, but not all municipalities in Miami-Dade County will do so on Monday.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the time is right for some businesses to open their doors once again, provided they observe social distancing guidelines.
“We believe that the regulations and the rules that are in place are a way that we can get back to business,” he said.
After nearly two months of being closed down, many businesses are gearing up to reopen on Monday, but it all depends on their location.
For the most part, Broward County has kept things simple, with all municipalities partially reopening restaurants, retail and some commercial establishments.
But it’s a little more complicated in Miami-Dade, complicated enough for businesses like El Tablazo Restaurant in Miami Beach to be confused as to when they’re able to welcome guests back in dining room areas.
“I was thinking that we can open up Monday, and I went shopping for the restaurant,” said Omar Sanchez, the owner of El Tablazo.
Many municipalities in Miami-Dade are partially reopening businesses on Monday, but others, like Miami, Hialeah, Miami Gardens and Miami Beach, moving at a slower pace. They are waiting until Wednesday to reopen retail and commercial stores, and restaurants will have to wait until May 27.
“This is terrible for us, because we are very excited waiting for when we can open,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez who owns El Tablazo with Luz Cano, said they’ve had to move to a pickup and delivery only system, they’ve lost about 90% of their profits.
“We are here for 24 years, and we are at the risk of having to close the restaurant,” said Sanchez.
Despite beaches and many businesses still closed on Saturday, there were several people out enjoying the sunny weather in South Beach.
Some visitors from Chicago were also enjoying the warm weather in Miami Beach.
“I wish that some facilities were open so we could sight-see some more,” said Najee Holtzclaw.
The visitors differed when asked whether or not they think it’s too soon to reopen.
“I’d say wait until everything like, you know for sure what’s really going on before we open back up,” said Curtis Akins.
“Right now, I think it’s time for everything to open back up, slowly but surely” said Amari Baldwin.
Just ahead of starting phase 1 of reopening, Miami Beach is implementing some other changes. Starting Saturday, Ocean Drive is closed to vehicular traffic, allowing for more space for businesses pedestrians to practice social distancing.
Since restaurants will only be able to operate at 50% capacity, officials hope the additional patio room will help them bounce back quicker.
That’s something business owners like Cano and Sanchez are praying for, too.
“This is the only thing we’ve been doing for 24 years,” said Sanchez.
The owners of El Tablazo added that they have not received any government assistance since they closed their dining area, so they’re going to rely on their customers to come back once they’re allowed to reopen.
Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.