MIAMI (WSVN) – Local leaders have confirmed revelers in Miami-Dade County will have an additional hour to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s before the curfew goes into effect.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez made the announcement during a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the reopening of the Wynwood Walls, Friday.
“We are rolling it to 1 a.m. just for Christmas and New Year’s,” said Levine Cava.
The mayors, however, stressed that people will not be allowed to assemble after the start of the curfew, normally extending from midnight to 6 a.m., put into place as a measure to help stem the spread of COVID-19.
“There will be no congregation after 1 a.m. There will be no after parties,” said Suarez.
The announcement comes amid concerns that coronavirus cases will spike if large groups of people gather for the holidays.
“Happy days are not here again yet. It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said Broward County Mayor Steven Geller.
The Florida Department of Health reported more than 13,000 new cases of the virus on Friday with an additional 96 new deaths.
The state’s positivity rate stands at nearly 9%.
Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at Florida International University, has been warning about the risks of large gatherings during the holidays for months.
“We have this horrific virus,” she said.
Marty knows there is optimism in their air since vaccines are starting to be distributed, but she said the country is still months away from most residents even being vaccinated.
“That’s not going to be until the late spring, early summer that we have a significant amount of vaccine or a significant number of people that have received two doses,” she said.
Despite that timeline, South Florida businesses continue to open up.
On Friday, the Wynwood Walls reopened for the first time since March.
The space is no longer free. Guests will need to pay for a ticket in advance.
Even though things continue to slowly return to pre-pandemic norms, experts urge people to be cautious.
“You can be outside, you can be socially distant. You can bring your mask, and you can enjoy the things that you love, that you have always loved about the Wynwood Walls,” said Wynwood Walls curator Jessica Goldman Srebnick.
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