Miami completely reopened its parks.
Recreation centers, gyms, grills, and picnic areas are some of the places that are back in operation as the city prepares to welcome summer.
At first glance, in Miami, the pandemic is behind us, and life has returned to normal. With a good part of the population already inoculated and with vaccines accessible to all adults, the main urban center of Florida has its shops reopened without restrictions. With the exception of the use of masks, which is still observed in a majority of the population despite the fact that they are not mandatory, there are no other apparent changes in the city of the sun in relation to COVID-19.
However, there were still some consequences of the times of closures and curfews at the peak of the pandemic, which are slowly beginning to disappear. Starting this Monday, the city of Miami reopens all public gyms, community centers, and recreational areas, all managed by the parks department and which were closed for fourteen months when the pandemic began. In addition, the outdoor gyms and picnic areas in the parks, the grills, and the game tables, which were theoretically closed despite the fact that many of them were active, can now be used legally.
"We are pleased to announce that closed-door facilities in our parks are now open and that our park programs and activities will be re-established as the school year draws to a close and summer is soon to begin," he said in a statement. Miami City Manager Art Noriega.
With today's reopening, the city announced the reinstatement of the parks assistance program for people with disabilities, which will restart on Monday, May 17. The Grapeland Public Water Park is also back, starting June 13. And those who want to hold meetings or celebrations in parks - either outdoors or indoors in recreational centers - may again request permits for this type of activity, as was always done before the pandemic.
"Even with the reopening of these facilities and programs, those who come to our public parks are asked to continue taking care of COVID-19 so that we are all safe," added Noriega.
Among the most anticipated events in Miami is the reopening of the domino park in Little Havana. The emblematic park of the Cuban community, where dozens of people gather to play dominoes every day, had been closed since the beginning of the pandemic.
"I am happy to be able to play again. This is what entertains me every day; the confinement was very hard, "said Lázaro Vega, an octogenarian from Little Havana who was one of the first to come to play at the park's traditional mosaic tables.
"I come without fear because we are all vaccinated," said Juan Manuel Hidalgo, another of the park's players.
Miami-Dade County still has a provision that establishes the use of masks in parks for those who are not doing physical exercise. But there is no penalty for those who do not comply with this measure.
The CDC established that those who are outdoors, in areas without a large concentration of people, and have been fully immunized, do not need to use a face mask. Similarly, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees assured that masks are not necessary - even indoors - for those who received the vaccine.