Spring Breakers seek Florida’s pandemic leniency, Miami-Dade mayor holding on lifting curfew until after the rush

Deco Drive South Beach at night – Courtesy: Shutterstock-Image by marchello74

Florida is the place to be according to just about everyone in the country.

Whether it’s northerners complaining about the rash of winter storms, west coast natives fleeing due to overly strict regional regulations, or anything “why can Florida do this and we can’t” related issues, it’s probably why Florida is more packed than ever.

Because of Florida’s almost 100% open policy rate, residents from all over the country are flocking to the Sunshine State to get away from super strict rules elsewhere and to thrive in the open country that is Florida.

Couple the rush of people fleeing their states to move to Florida because of the work from home demand and flexibility from work, snowbirds from the northern states and Canada, and the yearly rush of college spring breakers. Florida seems to be at capacity. 

With the vaccine in full effect and positivity rates being at their lowest in weeks, South Florida is an attractive spot for anyone to be at the moment. Beaches, warm weather, open bars, and restaurants—what more can people ask for on vacation during a pandemic. 

However, Florida isn’t bending the knee to just anyone. Certain bars are closed to non-state residents under the age of 23, and now, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava is doubling down on the midnight curfew through the month of March and rush of spring break.

“We can’t let our guard down when we are so close to the finish line,” wrote Levine Cava in a memo released last Friday to county commissioners.

The current curfew in Miami-Dade County begins at midnight and expires at 6 a.m. 

However, many commissioners from the county have suggested that the curfew should have expired and resume regular operations as COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases have seen a consistent decrease. Joining the commissioners are also a number of local businesses who are fighting the time regulation in court and a federal challenge from certain bars and restaurants in the neighboring Wynwood area near downtown Miami. 

The businesses say the county has presented no evidence that “COVID-19 is more likely to spread… during late-night hours as opposed to daytime hours.” Those same businesses are contesting that the curfew “is irrational and arbitrary at best,” according to the suit filed in the U.S. District Court.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is not in favor of the curfew and opposes business clampdowns such as the curfew, stating, “people do have a right to earn a living.” DeSantis has long argued that a curfew limits a business’ ability to allow workers to earn a wage during the pandemic but has failed to strike down the curfew in the past. Miami-Dade is the only county in the state with an active curfew. 

Mayor Levine Cava said the curfew would end Monday, April 5, if hospitalizations remain steady and don’t worsen and the average rate of positive COVID-19 results from county residents hits 5.5%. The current average is 6.3% in Miami-Dade.

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