On a beautiful Friday in the paradise of Miami Beach, the walkers, bicyclers, and runners could see the beach, but not go on it.
That’s a big blow for shops like Juicy Gyros just a few steps away. Opening the beach would make a big difference.
"Yeah, obviously, the store would get better and we get more customers, for everyone," worker Mayra Machado said.
Like a line of other restaurants, stores, and hotels, bringing the beach back to life would attract the lifeblood that fuels much of the South Florida economy.
Miami Beach Commissioner Ricky Arriola suggested the city ask the county to open the beach with restrictions but didn’t get any support from his colleagues at Friday's meeting.
One of the experts who is a consultant for Miami Beach said opening the beach would bring the masses.
"It significantly enhances the number of people who are coming to your beaches and in your case the number of people dropping in from New York and a variety of other places coming to take a look, coming down to be on the beach," said Dr. Glenn Morris, with the University of Florida. "Those crowds are going to significantly enhance the risk."
Also shot down was an idea that would set specific dates for outdoor restaurants, shops, and hotels to open.
"First of all, we can’t go ahead of the county under any circumstances for almost every one of these things. So, in essence we would be creating dates that the county may or may not agree with," said Mayor Dan Gelber.
Miami Beach is giving itself high marks for the way it’s limited the spread of COVID-19 over the last six weeks. Now it says a new testing center is coming to the convention center next week.
City Manger Jimmy Morales said the testing will help them make the tough decisions balancing health versus wallets. Morales was directed to update the mayor and commissioners once a week on when sectors of the economy may be able to start up again.
When it comes to state parks outside of southeast Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis is opening them on Monday.
"People can go out, get sunlight, they can get fresh air, it is good for peace of mind,” DeSantis said. "If you are talking open spaces with social distancing that’s going to be a very low risk environment but its also high reward for the people of Florida.“
Also opening Monday is Everglades National Park. The park service says they are using a phased in approach and that there will be access to Main Park Road in Homestead and some areas will remain closed.