Miami-Dade Restaurant Owners, Workers Protest Against Latest Restrictions

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Some Miami-Dade restaurant owners want County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to loosen restrictions currently in place for their businesses.

Restaurant owners and workers protested outside of AmericanAirlines Arena Friday in response to the latest executive order prohibiting indoor dining at restaurants across the county.

According to the order, only outdoor seating, take-out, and delivery service may be offered.

“If you weren’t a pick up or delivery restaurant, it becomes extremely difficult to survive off of that,” said Bar One Miami Beach owner Peter Thomas. “I had to lay off all my staff members and just work it myself with two managers that I couldn’t afford to lose.”

He said the latest restrictions are another blow during an already tough financial time.

The county has seen a large increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, doubling its cases since mid-June.

However, some restaurant owners say they have not been provided data that shows closing dining rooms helps to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“It cannot be that we are the only industry that is basically punished, you need to provide certain data for us, sit down with us, and say this is the data and what we have done,” Burger Meister owner Alexander Ringleb said.

The executive order does allow outdoor table service between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Gimenez originally said gyms would also be closed, but Tuesday he rescinded this part of the order. Gyms and fitness centers in Miami-Dade County are allowed to stay open as long as everyone inside wears a mask.

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