Miami-Dade County will once again be able to enforce its original midnight curfew until its appeal against a recent injunction on the emergency orders is decided, county mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Monday night.
According to the mayor, an appellate court allowed the county to enforce its curfew until a decision on the matter is made. The county's current court battle stems from a lawsuit from the adult entertainment company Tootsie's.
The local strip club sued the county over its 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, arguing it prevented its workers from making a living.
"I know it was hard on a lot of girls and they were really stressing about it at first, but think the longer things closed people got more creative making money," said Aubrey Berg - a stripper whose stage name is Dior. Six months offstage has left a sting in her pocket.
"It was really really hard with what I’m used to bringing in every week," Berg said,
Berg estimates a whopping loss of $70,000 during the shutdown because of the pandemic.
Late on Friday night, a county judge sided with Tootsie's and its employees, filing a temporary injunction against Miami-Dade's countywide curfew. Judge Beatrice Butchko found that the county's local emergency orders conflicted with those of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
In September, DeSantis moved Florida into the third phase of reopening, limiting counties from enforcing COVID restrictions which prevent people from working.
Originally, Gimenez said the county could not enforce the curfew as its appeal of Butchko's ruling was still pending.
"Its hurt me to see that businesses are hurting and that our people are hurting, but we have to do certain things in order to keep our population safe," Gimenez said.
Following the news over the weekend, the City of Miami and Miami Beach both announced they would also no longer enforce the county's curfew.
"I’ve never been a big fan of the curfew, but we will not be enforcing the curfew unless there is some other judicial clarification that would require us otherwise," City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said.
As of now, neither city has made a statement on whether they would once again enforce the county's curfew due to the appellate court's decision.
In a statement, Tootsie's - the business that started this chain of events - said:
"The only thing Tootsie’s sought was the ability to operate its normal hours (12 PM to 6 AM), which it now can do, so its employees and entertainers can make a living. Tootsie’s continues to take seriously Covid-related safety measures and urges others to do so."
Gimenez says the curfew will go back into effect Tuesday evening.