Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is cracking down on restaurants and businesses that choose not to comply with social distancing measures amid a recent surge in coronavirus cases in Miami-Dade County, according to his communications director Soledad Cedro.
"If [restaurants] are behaving as a bar where people are not keeping social distance until 1 a.m., that's not something we can do at this point," Cedro told FOX Business Monday. "That's why the city officials closed five different restaurants during the last weekend. This is, again, something absolutely temporary as long as they can demonstrate that they are able to comply with the new rules."
The news comes after a report by WPLG Local 10 that Suarez had partially attributed the surge in cases to restaurants not adhering to social distancing guidelines.
"When we started opening up our restaurants, unfortunately I think society started to think that we were signaling the all-clear," Suarez said during a press conference Sunday. “If we don’t act now, if we are not disciplined, this could get out of control.”
Cedro clarified Suarez's, stressing he did not specifically say the surge in cases were the fault of restaurants.
"We've seen for many different factors that the reality is that we have a surge in the number of cases," she said. "So obviously, this has to do with the fact that we are reopening, that people are outside. You know, nobody can tell exactly where someone got the virus."
Cedro added the surge in cases could more likely be attributed to people not wearing masks in general or to those who have been demonstrating in the streets over the past few weeks. As a result, Suarez is encouraging everyone to wear a mask when outside.
Suarez's comments on restaurants came as Miami-Dade County saw more than 25,000 coronavirus cases as of Sunday.
“We are starting to see our hospital numbers tick up," Suarez said Sunday. "We do know that the great majority of the new positives are the 18-to-35 demographic, but of course those people in that demographic go home and interact with their parents and grandparents and that’s a tremendous concern.”
On Monday, Florida's Department of Health reported more than 2,900 new coronavirus cases, bringing the state’s total to over 100,000. There were also 12 new deaths announced, raising the statewide toll to more than 3,000.
Suarez told FOX Business last week the city would not be entering phase 3 due to the recent surge in cases. He also said the city did not have immediate plans to roll back its reopening or implement another stay-at-home order.
The mayor's office confirmed to FOX Business that Suarez met with Miami-Dade County health officials Monday to go over the latest coronavirus data as well as other mayors in Miami-Dade County regarding the county's options for moving forward.