Miami Beach Issues 'Safer At Home' Order, Miami Considers 'Shelter In Place.' Here's What They Mean.

Mar 23, 2020

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Starting March 24, Miami Beach residents are advised to stay at home, except to engage in essential activities. The City of Miami Beach is the first municipality in South Florida to issue a "stay at home" order, though several local lawmakers have been calling for similar orders in their counties, cities or statewide.

Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried asked Gov. Ron DeSantis on March 20 for a statewide "stay at home" order. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has called for an emergency commission meeting to discuss a mandatory "shelter in place" order.

All orders aim to underscore the importance of staying home in order to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic.

Miami Beach's "Safer at Home" order:

Everyone is advised to stay home "to the maximum extent possible," except for activities considered essential, such as:

  • Going to work at an essential business (like a grocery store)
  • Buying groceries
  • Getting medical care
  • Picking up takeout or ordering delivery from restaurants
  • Banking
  • Doing laundry at a laundromat
  • Outdoor recreation, maintaining 6 feet between individuals
  • Religious activities involving no more than 10 people

For a full list, see pages 2-3 of the order.

Miami's "Shelter in Place" order, in consideration:

On Wednesday, March 25, Miami city commissioners will discuss a possible curfew and a "shelter in place" order that would impose new restrictions on people leaving their homes, but would allow for the following:

  • Going to work at an essential business (like a grocery store)
  • Grocery shopping
  • Getting medical care
  • Taking your dog for a walk (maintaining 6 feet of space between individuals)

This kind of sheltering in place is different from what you might be more familiar with, which we do during a hurricane. During a storm, you might hear officials advising people to shelter in place and not leave their homes at all. During this pandemic, it's advised not to leave your home unless it's absolutely necessary.

Commissioner Fried's March 20 letter asked Gov. DeSantis to close "all non-essential businesses for a reasonable timeframe, after which time the situation could be reassessed. A piecemeal approach of closing certain communities and businesses risks sowing further confusion."

On Monday, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said on WLRN's Sundial: "We as much as anyone in the state of Florida have imposed the kind of social distancing limitations that may seem extreme today but in a couple weeks will feel pretty standard."