Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County have ordered a hotel closure to further prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In Miami Beach, the order covers all hotels, hostels and short-term rental units in the city as of 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 23. They will not be allowed to accept new customers or bookings for the period between closing and 11:59 p.m. on April 22. [Link to the City’s updated order here.]
The new order also establishes a city-wide curfew from midnight on Tuesday, March 24.
Covered by the Ordinance are “commercial accommodation establishments, including, but not limited to, hotels, suite hotels, hotel units in hotel apartments, inns, dormitories, motels and more. temporary vacation rentals (i.e. short-term rentals). All are required to “immediately begin to close their activities and evacuate guests from their premises, and will be completely closed to guests and tenants by 11:59 pm on March 23, 2020. No extensions will be allowed.” Restaurants in hotels may continue to operate for take out and delivery only.
Exceptions to the ordinance include residents of residential apartment buildings and / or residential condominiums which may include hotel units. Also any accommodation facility approved by a city, county, state, or federal government entity “for the limited purpose of providing emergency health or other essential services, including without limitation , to serve as shelters or to house patients (for everything -for purposes related to care, such as pre-admission, observation, recovery or rehabilitation), families of patients, healthcare workers, first responders, law enforcement or other essential personnel, or displaced residents or visitors. “
In an announcement of the closures, Mayor Dan Gelber said, âOur hotels have always been the lifeblood of our economy, so closing them is not something to be done on impulse. But right now, painful as it may be, the reality is that we just can’t be a tourist destination. Attracting visitors and tourists is simply incompatible with social distancing. To the many amazing operators and employees who are affected, and the families who depend on them, we are so sorry that you feel this the most acute and we will advocate for any relief that will be available at the state level and federal. These decisions were made in conjunction with County Mayor Gimenez, our City Manager Jimmy Morales and with input from all of our Miami Beach City Commissioners. “
“These are extremely difficult times,” added Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. âAs we continue to fight the spread of this virus in Miami-Dade County, we are making daily decisions based on evolving recommendations from health experts. I order the closure of all hotels, commercial accommodation establishments and short-term rentals in Miami-Dade County and fully support the decision of Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber and City Manager Jimmy Morales to close the hotels and all other commercial accommodation establishments in Miami Beach. We must not rule out measures that will stem the spread of COVID-19 and protect our residents. “
In a text addressed this afternoon to the mayor and commissioners, city manager Jimmy Morales said he had met the [Greater Miami and the Beaches] The Board of Directors and the Director of the Hotel Association by phone today and âdiscussed the possible closure of the hotels. They were surprisingly understanding, âhe wrote.
Jonathan Plutzik, owner of The Betsy Hotel on Ocean Drive, told RE: MiamiBeach in a text message in response to the order, âIt’s painful, but the whole country is in pain. We support decisive action taken at all levels of government, including in Miami Beach. We can’t wait to get to the other side. And we go.”
The curfew will be in effect from midnight to 5 a.m. “and will include, but not be limited to, the prohibition of movement, parking and parking of pedestrians and vehicles, except the provision of designated essential services such as fire, police, and hospital services, including patient transportation, emergency utility repairs, emergency physician calls, and delivery services of food. The curfew currently in effect in the Entertainment District will remain in effect until the city-wide curfew comes into effect.
The order also adds the closure of the Purdy Boat Ramp at Maurice Gibb Park. All other marinas, boat launches, mooring, fueling, marine supplies and other marina services will remain open between 7 a.m. and sunset only.
It is the latest in a long list of emergency measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Beaches, parks and non-essential retail businesses are all closed, and restaurants are only open for take-out and delivery.