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Miami-Dade Restaurants Can Reopen Indoor Dining With Limited Capacity On August 31

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Families will soon have another option, other than sitting outside or take-out at Miami-Dade restaurants. Starting Monday, the ban on indoor seating will be lifted.

"This doesn't mean this is over by a long shot. We will need to wear our masks for the foreseeable future," Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said.

Mayor Gimenez says people at a table must keep their mask on until they are served a drink, like water.

For owners, air conditioning must be on all the time along with keeping windows and doors open.  They can't allow more than 50% capacity and up to 6 people per table.

"We really are not making enough money to even cover the cost of being open," Karen Pino said.

Pino is the co-owner of "La Taberna Giralda" in Coral Gables. She is getting ready to celebrate her 8th year in business. She can now do that with indoor dining.

"Opening is really quintessential for me to stay open. So many restaurants, especially mom and pops restaurants unfortunately have not made it," she told CBS 4 News Tuesday.

Pino says it won't be easy starting Monday since there are still fewer tables.There's also less foot traffic in general.

"It's not like we are getting bombarded with a bulrush if individuals. It's more like a trickle in," Pino said.

Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez says he's had enough with the ban. He said Tuesday his officers will no longer enforce an indoor ban.

"We will not be enforcing in The City of Hialeah the regulations of restaurants being closed. The county can come and do that," Hernandez said.

The county mayor says he will.

"If restaurants in Hialeah open up before Monday, they may well find a Miami-Dade County police officer there to give them a fine," Gimenez said.

The mayor says restaurants will still need to close by 10 at night. After Labor Day, that may change.

"On the advice of The White House Task Force, I've decided not to push back the curfew at this time. It's something that we will look at after the holiday weekend."

Why the change now? The mayor said the 10.3% two-week average positivity rate and hospital numbers are finally under a thousand patients.

A decision may come soon about casinos and banquet halls.

Democratic mayoral hopeful and current County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava supports the decision and believes the county can keep numbers down at this level of an approach.

Republican mayoral hopeful and current County Commissioner Steve Bovo says he would like to see restaurants open at greater capacity but this is a step in the right direction.

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