What to Know
- Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said all parks, marinas and golf courses will reopen Wednesday under specific health guidelines
- The county will hire more than 400 people who were put out of work by the coronavirus outbreak to help enforce social distancing measures at parks
- People who do not follow social distancing rules can face a $500 fine or even arrest
Cars and people lined up hours before areas such as parks, marinas and golf courses in Miami-Dade opened their doors Wednesday during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced emergency orders earlier this week that allowed the areas to reopen. In a news conference at Tropical Park on Monday, Gimenez said the rules in the emergency order will follow recommendations made by medical experts.
“This is…a big part of everybody’s life," said Robert Grosswald,who lives two blocks from Greynolds Park. There’s a lot of people that come here, and I miss it.” Robert Grosswald/Lives 2 Blocks Away
This comes after a week where local and state leaders worked with various task forces focused on brainstorming ideas on how to get the economic engines up and running.
“It’s the first time in two months, so yeah missed it a lot," said Louis Romano, a park visitor who came to play golf Wednesday. "Used to take walks here regularly. Play golf here regularly, so that’s what I’m looking to do this morning.”
While county facilities will be open, those in the city limits of Miami will remain closed at this time.
“We’ve always put our residents’ safety first and that’s what we’re going continue to do," said Mayor Francis Suarez. "We’re going to be driven by the data and we’re going to be driven by the science and the experts, and that’s how we’re going to make our decisions.”
According to Gimenez, the county will hire more than 400 people who were put out of work by the coronavirus outbreak to help enforce social distancing measures at parks.
Some of the employees will be comprised of former security workers from Hard Rock Stadium and the American Airlines Arena, as well as public school crossing guards.
“The openings happening this Wednesday are not business as usual,” Gimenez said.
Some of the rules Gimenez said parks must follow are restrictions on organized sports, like basketball. People who come to the parks to play basketball must bring and use their own ball. Pick-up games will be prohibited.
Certain areas will also be designated for walking, hiking and running, but masks must be worn.
Parks will also have designated hours for senior citizens.
As for marinas, Gimenez said boats will be required to stay 50 feet apart.
The order, which will be signed later on Monday, allows cities to reopen parks under the specified guidelines, but municipalities can enforce tougher rules or refuse to reopen all together.
People who do not follow social distancing rules can face a $500 fine or even arrest.
"I wanna stress that there will be zero tolerance for people who do not follow the rules," Gimenez said. "They will be clearly spelled out at all parks, marinas and golf courses."
According to the mayor, the next phase of reopening will be focused on non-essential businesses.