Tourism in South Florida has been understandably dismal since the coronavirus pandemic. As of Thursday, approximately 11,000 passengers passed through the terminals at Miami International Airport for 114 flights. A year ago, the number was almost 120,000 passengers on more than 880 flights.
Miami-Dade’s tourism industry lasted 10 weeks with coronavirus restrictions closing beaches and hotels closed. Now, finally, on June 1, it opens slowly and steadily, but with restrictions.
New rules for Miami-Dade Beaches and Community Pools
– No volleyball, football, Frisbee, paddleball, dogs or animals on the beaches.
– No fishing, except for specially designated areas which allow social distancing.
—- Keep a distance of six feet from others. The county parks department has hired 400 other temporary guards to join the previous 4oo “beach ambassadors” to enforce these social distancing rules.
Miami-Dade Hotel Rules
Most hotels in the area – with around 60,000 rooms, before the pandemic – are reopening to non-essential guests, but with new security guidelines. New realities for ensuring the safety of hotel guests and employees include:
– Guests wear masks in common areas and walk to and from the pool. Employees wear them at all times.
– Gyms remain closed.
– The swimming pools are open, the disinfected chairs and garden furniture are spaced out so that everyone remains socially distant.
– Most of the hotel restaurants reopen, but new restaurant dinner rules apply to.
– Only dogs defined as service animals by the Americans with Disabilities Act will be allowed inside the property.
– Elevators operate at 50 percent capacity with no more than four guests at a time. You will need to wear a mask and respect the distance marks on the ground.
– Valet parking will be suspended where self-parking is available. If this is not possible, an attendant (wearing a mask and gloves) will park your car.
– You will carry your own luggage, if possible.
– Only one person in your group will be allowed to walk to the check-in counter and will need to have their temperature checked.
– Events and meetings will be allowed, but you will need to follow social distancing rules. If that is not possible, people wear masks. The room cannot exceed 50% of its capacity, including servers and staff. The condiments are single serve and the silverware is individually wrapped. Buffet style service will not be permitted at this time. A staff member will need to serve coffee. Sheets will be changed before and after your event and all equipment and amenities will be disinfected.
Broward County, South Florida Parks and the Keys
June 1 will also mean looser pandemic rules on Broward County beaches, where Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale are located. The county reopened the coast earlier than Miami-Dade but with restrictions against loitering.
Broward’s announced new rules reflect Miami-Dade June 1 regulations: beach seating will be allowed and people will be able to bring their own umbrellas and chairs. Masks are required to enter the beach, but can be removed for swimming and sitting on the sand.
But Broward also announced looser rules than Miami-Dade, such as tattoo parlors and massage establishments now operating under new rules. Doubles tennis – still banned at Miami-Dade – is allowed at Broward.
Other South Florida outdoor options open June 1: the Shark Valley and Gulf Coast visitor areas of Everglades National Park, and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on Key Biscayne.
And if you want to drive further south, the Florida Keys will again be open to visitors, with checkpoints on June 1 in the United States. While hotels in Monroe County remained open, local authorities had closed the island chain to all non-residents until June 1.