Going into effect as soon as it was adopted on Thursday, July 16, 2020, this new ordinance will be instrumental in enabling the County to enforce its New Normal Guidelines, which include wearing a mask in public spaces, both indoors and outside, and maintaining strict social distancing.
“This ordinance gives our County a new two-pronged approach to ensuring that everyone is following the New Normal rules so that we can more effectively tamp down the spread of COVID-19,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.
Failure to follow the New Normal Guidelines has always been a criminal offense for which the Miami-Dade Police Department can issue citations to offenders at commercial establishments. Violators can be charged with a second-degree criminal misdemeanor carrying fines of up to $500 and 180 days in jail.
With this new ordinance, individuals are now subject to citation. Anyone who does not comply with the New Normal Guidelines can now be cited by MDPD or by Miami-Dade Code Enforcement, both of which have the authority to issue tickets with fines of up to $100. Individuals who are unable to pay the fine will be subject to community service. Businesses where violations occur will face a $500 civil fine.
“For months, I have been stressing how masks, social distancing and the other guidelines recommended by the CDC and our local medical experts can reduce the transmission of COVID-19,” Mayor Gimenez said. “MDPD had jurisdiction to enforce these orders in commercial businesses, but far too many individuals acted as if the New Normal rules did not apply to them, which led to a surge in infection rates. This new ordinance gives Code Enforcement the power to join MDPD in making sure that each and every one of us are following our County’s life-saving Emergency Orders.”