As Florida's coronavirus case count continues to see large daily spikes, local officials are cracking down on public health guidelines, and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez suggested that the penalties for businesses that do not comply may be getting tougher.
“We’re looking at the numbers every single day and everything is on the table,” said Suarez. “And it would be unfortunate if we have to go backwards.”
Suarez told NBC 6 he is considering a new plan to shut down businesses for 10 days for their first COVID-19 guideline violation, 15 days for their second, and 30 days for their third.
“People were going out and they were not practicing any of the rules,” Suarez said. “So I think now is the opportunity to tighten things up.”
Rocco Carulli, owner of the Wynwood restaurant R House, said he thought it was unfair that restaurants that don't abide by the regulations.
We’re all working hard here," Carulli told NBC 6. "We’re all working, spending extra money, extra time, extra training getting everybody on the same page. I think that people who aren’t doing that should have to pay some sort of price.”
Carulli's restaurant is keeping all its tables six feet apart, and waiters must wear gloves. Currently, restaurants must also display COVID guidelines signage for customers and prohibit patrons from gathering in the bar area.
On Friday evening, several restaurants in Fort Lauderdale were fined for not following those regulations, and two bars which should not have been open were shut down by authorities.
Florida's coronavirus tally hit more than 132,500 Saturday, with a record-breaking daily jump of more than 9,500 additional cases.