Miami Beach

Miami Beach Outlaws Panhandling Near Restaurants, Businesses

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Asking for money or food near the entrance of a business in Miami Beach is now illegal, under emergency rules put in place by the city because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The restrictions prohibit panhandling within 50 feet of an entrance or service window of a restaurant or other eatery, as well as near the entry of an essential business, according to the Miami Herald.

The new rule is part the city's reopening plan signed by City Manager Jimmy Morales on Saturday under emergency powers granted to him by the City Commission.

Commissioner Mark Samuelian defended the new rule, saying on Twitter that panhandling does not “lend itself to social distancing."

Violations could lead to arrest and prosecution, but authorities have wide discretion in enforcing the ban.

Miami Beach will allow retail stores to open Wednesday, while dining in restaurants won't resume until May 27.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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