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Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis Calls Broward County's Proposed Curfew 'Draconian'

BROWARD (CBSMiami) – The Broward County administrator is considering a nightly countywide curfew over the holidays.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis believes it's not needed.

"Over the course of this summer, we experimented with shutdowns and curfews, and they really don't work. The reality is, what happens is the exact opposite," Trantalis said.

Although the order comes from the nonelected administrator, County Mayor Steve Geller, the chief spokesperson for Broward, supports her and said this is to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Geller said cases have increased 20% since Thanksgiving and hospitals are seeing more patients.

"This is our first wave. You can see right now we are in our second wave. We are very concerned about this because our biggest concern is hospital capacity," Geller said.

If the order is signed, the curfew is likely to start Friday, Christmas Day, until Monday, Jan. 4.

On Christmas and New Year's Day, the curfew will go from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. All other days, it's from 12 a.m. to 5 in the morning. The curfew goes for people and business.

"We can fine them or we can shut them down. If it's an individual that is violating the orders, we are not going to be arresting people, but they will receive civil citations," Geller said.

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The curfew will impact a get together at a home and people who are just out-and-about, unless they're an essential worker.

A current order already limits outside gatherings to 10 people. It's also 10 for home gatherings. But the people and kids who live at the home aren't included in the count.

Attorney Bradford Cohen recently took the county to federal court over an order and won.

"Suddenly they lost the ordinance restricting food and beverage from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. and they decided to punish the people of Broward County by limiting their movement from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. I think it's incorrect. I think it's vindictive," Cohen said.

Now, if the curfew is finalized, that means people dining and folks barhopping won't be allowed to during the overnight for a little more than a week.

The county mayor said it's likely the order will be signed Wednesday to then go into effect Friday. County leaders say it'll only be for the holidays.

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