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Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez releases Phase I draft guidelines in anticipation of May 18th reopening

MIAMI ( May 13, 2020 )

In an effort to allow for the lead time many of our local businesses may need in order to prepare for an anticipated Phase I reopening date of Monday, May 18, 2020, we are publishing the New Normal Guide that has been prepared and submitted to Governor Ron DeSantis for the state's review. If Governor DeSantis approves our plan, certain non-essential businesses will be allowed to reopen with stringent capacity and safety rules in place. This planning was done in close consultation with medical and industry experts and government partners, and is laid out in detail in the guide. This information is being provided preliminarily to help our businesses and residents plan ahead, but there could still be revisions as we clarify in greater detail what can and cannot open and what services can and cannot be provided.

Early on in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we acted quickly and responsibly, first, by protecting the elderly and medically-compromised residents, next, by restricting dining in restaurants and closing theaters, playhouses and other gathering places, and by imposing social distancing guidelines, then by closing parks and open spaces, and finally, by closing all non-essential retail and commercial establishments. Our Safer at Home protocols became the model for the state, and it is because our residents and business owners cooperated and adhered to these restrictions, that we were able to avoid the worst predictions of the effects of the pandemic on our community, flatten the curve, and now, with criteria established by the federal government showing a downward trend in cases and hospitalizations in Miami-Dade County, we are able to relax some of these restrictions and work toward what will be our New Normal.

The draft guide includes specific industry protocols for Retail, Small Businesses, Personal Grooming Businesses, Arts and Culture, Manufacturing, Office Buildings and Shopping Centers, Warehousing/Trade and Logistics, and Restaurants. It also includes protocols for hotels, motels and other commercial lodging establishments. In addition, it specifies that the following will NOT be opening at this time, but at a future date, when conditions warrant: bars, pubs, night clubs, banquet halls, cocktail lounges, cabarets, and breweries; movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, arcades, gymnasiums and fitness studios; pools, hot tubs and fitness centers, gymnasiums, whether of a commercial or non-commercial nature; tattoo shops and massage parlors. 

All of the Working Groups’ recommendations have been approved by doctors and medical experts from the Florida Department of Health, Jackson Health System, U-Health, and the infectious disease experts at Florida International University and the University of Miami. Medical experts have been involved every step of the way in this process, which also included input from the Miami-Dade League of Cities.

On April 29, 2020, we allowed for a limited reopening of parks and open spaces. Because we carefully planned and our community followed the established rules, we did not experience an increase in cases and can now consider further openings. As certain non-essential businesses reopen, should we see indicators that the percentage of positive cases is increasing in line with test counts, hospital beds are filling up, or people are not following the established orders, restrictions will go back into place.

The guide, which includes a color-coded system that details when openings can occur, is a fluid document that is based on changing conditions. It will be posted at for residents and business owners to review. We will update the guide regularly based on various indicators outlined in the report.

To view the New Normal Guide, click here.

For all other information related to COVID-19, visit