Broward County Mayor announces 9-day curfew amid COVID-19 surge

The mayor of Broward County has announced a curfew that will last for nine days amid a surge in coronavirus cases throughout South Florida.
Mayor Steve Geller on Tuesday announced the curfew will be in effect from Dec. 24 to Jan. 4., as the county expects nearly one million holiday visitors to arrive at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
“With this large influx of visitors, combined with the problems we’re already having with capacity at the hospital districts, at the South Broward hospital district in particular, we’re just very concerned about the ability to have our nurses,” Geller said. “We are announcing the curfew, and we are quite confident, unfortunately, that there will be a spike after Christmas and New Year’s.”
The curfew will run from midnight to 5 a.m. each day. However, on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, the curfew will run from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
“That’s not bad. I guess it’s a change from Florida,” tourist Steve Mochulski said. “We’re from Philadelphia, where they shut everything down. They shut down bars, restaurants.”
Geller expressed concerns over the large house parties that may take place over the holidays.
“We’re begging people not to get together in large numbers,” Geller said.
The Broward County Commission said in a tweet that the curfew was put in place to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
“The reality is over the course of the summer, we experimented with shutdowns and curfews, and they really don’t work,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said. “The reality is that what happens is exactly the opposite. I just feel that the move forward to try to impose a curfew on the community was a step in the wrong direction.”
As of now, businesses along Las Olas Boulevard close at midnight, but it remains unclear how the curfew will be enforced.
“I’m not for any kind of curfew,” said Scott Jimison, the manager of Noodles Panini. “If you want to restrict at 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., that’s never been good for the city. Normal business as usual seems to be going pretty good. People seem to be all wearing the mask and doing it.”
“This action by the county is not going to diminish the spread of the coronavirus,” said Trantalis. “What’s going to diminish and mitigate the spread of coronavirus is the way we treat each other, remaining distant from one another, keeping gatherings small and at the same time, wearing our masks.”
When asked if the curfew will make much of a difference, a passer-by said, “Not really. People are still going to do what they want.”
Miami-Dade County has already put in place a curfew of their own, which begins at midnight and ends at 6 a.m.
“If the authorities think that it’s the best way to curtail some of the transmissions, I think we can all get behind that,” Fort Lauderdale resident Alberto Vasquez said.
According to the Archdiocese of Miami, midnight Mass will go on as planned.
County officials said those violating curfew will be issued a civil citation.

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