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With Countywide Curfew Lifted, Miami Beach Bars & Clubs Can Return To Late Night Operating Hours

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Good news for club owners and club-goers, as Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales announced Saturday that they will be suspending enforcement of the countywide curfew in Miami Beach.

"In light of the court ruling enjoining the county from enforcing the curfew and after consulting our city attorney, I have directed city staff to suspend enforcement of the curfew in Miami Beach, including the 8 pm closure of liquor stores outside the MXE, pending appeal of the court order," Morale said.

The measure allows Miami Beach clubs to stay open past midnight and serve alcohol past 8 p.m.

The curfew, which was put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, affected many businesses, including bars, restaurants, and night clubs.

CBS4's Jessica Vallejo spoke to Romain Zago, the owner of Mynt Lounge in Miami Beach.

Zago says it has been "quite the struggle."

He says some of his employees were even struggling to feed their families.

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"The feeling of happiness is beyond. It's not only about being able to work, which is weird. Right? It is that now our employees can provide their families," Zago said.

Zago says shutting their doors has cost much more.

"Our staff was almost starving. We couldn't even help them anymore. The rent does not stop, we had no discount, so it was just torture."

A court victory by Tootsies strip Club is what sparked the shut down of Miami-Dade's curfew for the nightlife industry.

County lawyers asked an appeals court to revive the measure before midnight Saturday.

Miami and Miami Beach announced Saturday that law enforcement will not enforce curfew after judge Beatrice Butchko found the county's curfew in conflict with Gov. Ron DeSantis' emergency orders, which was implemented on September 25.

"We are so glad," says Zago, who adds they will party responsibly.

Most clubs, including Mynt Lounge, will now be able to keep their doors open until 5 a.m.

Meanwhile, the office of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez released a statement, which in part read:

"Miami-Dade County has filed an appeal. As of right now, the County cannot enforce the curfew at businesses until resolution of the appeal. From a practical matter, the curfew is unenforceable until the appeal is settled by the courts. However, we can and will continue to enforce the County's orders on facial coverings, distancing and important rules governing public health protocols for businesses."

"I want to reiterate that if everyone wears masks in public places and stays away from large social gatherings, which can trigger dangerous super-spreader events, we can continue to keep the COVID-19 positivity rate low and not overwhelm our hospitals with very sick patients."

"Our public health experts are predicting a rise in cases and a potential spike by mid-November, which is why everyone must take special care to follow the safety rules. I am asking our residents and business owners to keep your guard up and diligently follow the County's safety rules to protect our community during this pandemic. Please, continue to do your part to save lives."

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