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Miami-Dade Lifts Curfew Clearing Way For Reopening Of Beaches Wednesday

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The tantalizing 7 miles of Miami Beach are set to open Wednesday after being closed since March 19.

Protests against racial injustice and police brutality delayed the original reopening date.

But a series of violence-free demonstrations has Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez lifting the curfew he put in place to curb late-night unrest.

"There are no demonstrations planned for [Monday night]. We felt it was safe to go without the curfew until further notice unless something else happens," he said.

Still, the mayor has issued a warning to beachgoers.

"We have not been shy about those decisions we have taken. I am not going to let things get out of control. The last thing I want to do is close the beaches again," he said.

The announcement is major news for Miami Beach where restaurants struggled to open after a 2-1/2 month shutdown and then a curfew.

"Listen, a 9 p.m. curfew is not good for most restaurants, kicking everybody out is bad for a business that has already been hammered," said Mayor Dan Gelber.

Fingers are crossed that demonstrations will remain peaceful, beachgoers will practice social distancing and the crowds on the sand won't be huge.

"Frankly, with the beaches closed it has been easier to navigate this COVID pandemic, but we can't keep beaches closed forever," Gelber said.

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