What Could Reopening Public Spaces Look Like? Miami-Dade Task Force Drafts Recommendations

The task force recommendations focused on four main areas: beaches, parks, waterways and golf courses

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While there's ongoing debate about when reopening South Florida public spaces should happen, Miami-Dade County is working on a plan for what the "new normal" could be when that reopening happens.

On Monday, a task force composed of community leaders, physicians and others in Miami-Dade County released the draft of reopening recommendations for certain public spaces that have been closed amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The task force recommendations focused on four main areas: beaches, parks, waterways and golf courses.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said there is no timeline yet for the reopening of the public spaces, and said all decisions would be guided by medical experts.

Law enforcement will be enforcing social distancing guidelines, and it's likely that beaches would open after the other public spaces, Gimenez said.

"The beaches are coming later, coming later when people understand the rules and abide by the rules and when we have enough personnel to actually enforce what we wanna do on the beaches," Gimenez said Monday.

Here are the Moving to A New Normal: Parks and Open Spaces Initiative's drafted recommendations released Monday:


Beach reopenings would be phased, should occur at the same time on a weekday, and likely coordinated with openings in Broward and Monroe counties as well as West Palm Beach.

Initially walking and jogging would be permitted, with a recommended distance of at least 6 feet from people from different households, but ideally a 15-foot distance.

Activities that wouldn't be permitted include organized activities and athletics involving groups of any size, gatherings of people from different households who aren't social distancing, and sunbathing or sitting on beach chairs or towels.

Swimming is not yet advised but is being continually discussed to determine when it would be permitted.

What's usually a hotspot for tourists and beachgoers in South Florida, South Beach has been all but deserted during the coronavirus pandemic. Public health officials across the country work to contain the spread of the disease. Drone footage captured an unusually quiet South Beach as residents abide by stay-at-home orders.


There are a number of recommendations for on-water activity, boat ramps, and fishing piers.

While on the water, boats would be required to stay 50 feet apart at all times, with no beachings, landings or rafting up. There would be no gatherings of more than 10 people and no tying up in Stiltsville.

Boat capacity would be set at 4 adults for boats 25 feet or less, 6 adults for boats 26 to 26 feet, and 8 adults for boats 37 feet or bigger. Personal watercraft like Jet Skis would be limited to single riders.

Kayak and canoe launch areas would reopen and ramps for all boats would be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. There would be 1 boat per launch ramp at a time, and upon returning to the dock all passengers must remain on the vessel until the boat is ready to be loaded unto the trailer.

Fishing piers would have a minimum of 10 feet of social distancing, and fish cleaning stations would have a rule of 1 person per station at a time.


Parks would initially reopen from sunrise to sunset, and residents would be encouraged to use them for short intervals, for up to 2 hours.

Parks would be open for limited active use, including walking, jogging, hiking, cycling, individual basketball play and tennis singles play.

Walking and nature paths would be one-way, and face masks would be required.

No groups of 10 or more would be allowed, and playgrounds, dog parks, exercise equipment, picnic shelters, campgrounds, skate parks and swimming pools would remain closed.

There would be priority access for a couple hours in the morning a few days a week for seniors, and parks would have open restrooms with extra measures in place to keep them clean.

NBC 6's Alyssa Hyman reports on Mayor Gimenez's strategy to slowly reopen beaches and parks in Miami.


Requirements for opening county golf courses would follow recommendations from the National Golf Course Owners Association, PGA of America, and USGA.

Social distancing would be in place at clubhouses and on the course. Pro shop entrances would be closed, and there would be no usage of locker rooms.

Carts and rental equipment would be cleaned and disinfected before each players' use, and all shared materials including scorecards, pencils, tees, towels, coolers and other items would be removed from carts.

Players 60 and older would be separated from younger clientele where possible.

On the course, noodles would fill cups to prevent balls from going in the hole and prevent players from touching flagpoles. Sand trap rakes would be removed, as well as all ball wash stations.

All players would have to stay 6 feet apart at all times, and only one player would be allowed per cart.

All players would be required to leave the golf course immediately after playing.

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