Restaurants, bars, gyms and theaters ordered to close in Miami-Dade

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(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

Miami-Dade County ordered all restaurant dining rooms, bars, gyms, movie theaters, bowling alleys and other businesses closed due to coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Deputy Mayor Jennifer Moon made the announcement along with Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber on Tuesday morning at a press conference at Joe’s Stone Crab in South Beach. The order will go into effect as of 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales said. It excludes essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and convenience stores.

Restaurant and hotel kitchens will be allowed to stay open for delivery, drive-thru and pickup services. A number of restaurants and bars had previously announced they planned to close.

“Any congregation of more than 10 people in Miami Beach will be illegal,” Gelber said.

Joe’s Stone Crab owner Stephen Sawitz and Versailles owner Felipe Valls both spoke. Joe’s plans to pay its employees for two weeks, and will keep Joe’s Take Away open.

“There will be a light on at Joe’s and there is a light on at the end of the tunnel,” Sawitz said.

Valls said his family’s 10 restaurants in Miami-Dade, which include Versailles and La Carreta, will pay its more than 2,000 employees for as long as it can.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, made a similar move late Monday in the city of Miami.

“I feel and apologize to all of my employees. I wish we could do more,” Valls said. “We just ask everybody to hold on.”

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