Miami Mayor Suarez Imposes Mask Crackdown Just Days After Being Busted Maskless at Rule-Breaking Restaurant
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) imposed a rule on Monday requiring residents to wear masks in all outdoor areas — less than a week after police shut down a restaurant where Suarez was busted for failing to wear a mask and violating social-distancing rules.
“Everyone will have to be wearing masks in public,” Suarez said at a Monday press conference. “Right now the mask requirement is only for when you are inside, when you are at parks but not exercising. And now, it will be a public requirement.”
Noting that enforcement would be a “challenge,” Suarez said police officers could cite and charge anyone who fails to wear a mask with a misdemeanor.
The move comes after a maskless Suarez was pictured on Thursday at Swan, a Design District restaurant, taking a photo with two men — one of whom was wearing a mask — and eating with four other people at his table. Miami-Dade rules only allow four people to sit at the same table unless they are from the same household.
*Florida reports record-high one-day increase of 2,783 new coronavirus cases.*
Miami mayor Francis Suarez: lemme go out and dine-in at a restaurant lol pic.twitter.com/T7fxe1WY5E
— Mexican Rug Dealer (@DealinRugs) June 23, 2020
An earlier picture also showed Suarez at the restaurant on June 11. Miami-Dade police said Friday evening they had shut the establishment down, along with two others in the city, but did not comment on whether Suarez’s presence brought the violations to their attention. The restaurant owners are facing a fine of up to $500 and 180 days in jail.
Suarez on Monday called his appearance at the restaurant an “error,” adding, “I obviously take a lot of pictures, and I try in every single instance to comply with the rules. In that particular case, rules were not complied with, and that’s something that I regret, understanding that I’m an example. I have to try to set the standard in every moment and every occasion, and that’s an obligation that I have as mayor. So I regret taking the picture in that way.”
Florida has seen a spike in coronavirus cases driven by Miami-Dade. The region had 26,239 confirmed cases as of June 22, comprising about a quarter of more than 103,503 cases statewide.
Watch above via the Miami mayor’s office.
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