Miami Beach’s 8 p.m. curfew went into effect Saturday night - the newest in a long list of South Florida restrictions meant to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Businesses in the city’s entertainment district scrambled to shut their doors while people hurried to get back home, or to their hotels, as the curfew went into effect.
The change caught some visitors by surprise.
“It’s terrible,” said visitor Ericka Starkey. “We ain’t coming back.”
The curfew only applies to Collins Avenue, Washington Avenue and Ocean Drive. The heart of the city’s nightlife.
“We came down here to enjoy ourselves, and we can’t do anything,” said Tavarshia Jones who traveled from Virginia. “We can’t even get any food. So very surprising, very disappointing.”
Ernesto Rodriguez, spokesperson for Miami Beach Police, said drastic measures were needed to slow down the surge in coronavirus cases.
“We needed to basically tone down the party,” said Rodriguez. “Shut it off a little bit earlier.”
He says people weren’t taking restrictions seriously enough.
“We’ve seen larger crowds coming out to Miami Beach not adhering to social distancing guidelines, not wearing face covers,” Rodriguez said.
Miami Beach was not the only area in South Florida forced to issue a mandatory curfew in response to rising cases.
Earlier this week, Broward County issued a countywide curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m. until August 1st.
The county also announced it would be putting a stop to house parties. No more than 10 people can gather for a private party.
“We can never tell if this is going to be enough, but what we’re doing is taking the steps that we believe are prudent in order to stop the spread of the virus,” Broward County Mayor Dale Holness said.
In Miami-Dade, there's a new resource to help with contact tracing and a place to get tested after the county's empowerment website was created where you can anonymously report if you're sick and share details on where you've been to alert others who may have been exposed.