Hialeah Won't Enforce County Ban on Indoor Restaurant Dining, Mayor Says


Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez says the city will no longer be enforcing Miami-Dade County's rules banning indoor dining in restaurants.

At a news conference Tuesday, Hernandez said the city would no longer be enforcing the orders issued by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"I am asking my city employees, my departments, that we will not be enforcing in the City of Hialeah the regulations of restaurants being closed, the county can come and do that," Hernandez said. "I'm not gonna ask these businesses or tell these businesses to do it, to open or not, but what I'm saying is Hialeah cannot be part of this any longer and the City of Hialeah will not be part of this any longer."

Hernandez said he hasn't seen evidence that closing restaurants to indoor dining has had an effect on COVID-19, and said many in Miami-Dade are going to Broward County to eat anyway.

"There is no evidence that restaurants caused the increase of coronaviruses that we saw, because Broward County never closed their restaurants and their numbers were up like ours and they've also gone down like here in Miami-Dade County," Hernandez said.

He added that the ban on indoor dining has runined many businesses.

"I'm watching restaurants here closing day in and day out, I'm watching the pain of these owners, of these employees that depend on these businesses and I cannot continue to support a decision not based on science, not based on any communication whatsoever, a baseless opinion or decision made by the county mayor," Hernandez said.

Gimenez was holding a Tuesday afternoon news conference where he was expected to address the issue.

Hernandez said the county can still enforce the restaurant order.

"The county has the authority, he's got $474 million that I guess he can use to enforce instead of giving it to small businesses and they can come and do that enforcement himself with county inspectors and county police department," Hernandez said. "I hope he comes to a decision real quick, because every day that goes by, for him it might not mean much, but for these businesses it means a matter of closing or not."

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