Florida’s Miami-Dade to Require Masks in All Public Spaces

Miami-Dade County, Florida’s most populous, will start requiring masks in all public spaces, with Mayor Carlos Gimenez making the move after speaking with hospital leaders about the region’s increase in Covid-19 cases.

Gimenez said he will sign an emergency order later Wednesday, according to a statement. Masks were previously required in indoor public spaces and outdoors when effective social distancing was not possible.

Under the new rules, masks must be used outdoors, with exceptions for joggers, certain respiratory conditions and children under the age of 2.

Gimenez, a Republican who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives, said he hoped residents would follow the rules and stay home when possible. But he said he wouldn’t stand idle if behaviors don’t change.

“If people continue to flaunt the rules, we will be forced to close non-essential businesses and all other activities that we began opening up in May,” Gimenez said.

Florida began its reopening on May 4, but Miami-Dade -- which has had more cumulative cases of the virus than any other county in the state -- started reopening two weeks later.

Broward County, which is also part of the Miami metropolitan area, said Wednesday it was expanding its previously indoor-only mask requirements and adding restrictions for restaurants. Broward now requires masks in all public spaces “where social distancing cannot be maintained.”

Broward also banned on-site food and alcohol service between midnight and 5 a.m.

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