Broward County is aiming to open beaches, gyms and hotels on May 26, according to Aaron Leibowitz of the Miami Herald.
Mayors had discussed that target date to open beaches on a Thursday conference call. Broward County Mayor Dale Holness had also floated the May 26 date earlier this month as South Florida moved into Phase One of the state’s reopening plan.
Leibowitz says a county spokesperson confirmed the May 26 date, and added gyms and hotels would be covered by move as well.
The date represents a break with Miami-Dade County, which is aiming to reopen beaches six days later, on June 1.
Until now, the counties had seemed to signal they would move in lockstep on the issue.
On April 20, Miami-Dade County announced a plan to being reopening parks, marinas and golf courses.
Ramira Inguanzo, the President of Miami-Dade City and County Managers Association, explained beaches would remain closed under the plan to ensure intergovernmental cooperation.
“The opening of the beaches should be phased in a coordinated effort in Miami-Dade County and should occur at the same time for all beaches in all cities,” Inquanzo said.
“The opening of the beaches in Miami-Dade County should also be done in conjunction with the beaches in Broward County, with Palm Beach County and with Monroe County as well.”
Palm Beach County bailed on that plan earlier this month. The county began reopening its beaches on May 18.
Mayor Holness still signaled he’d like to stay on the same timeline as Miami-Dade as recently as May 14, citing talks with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez.
“In our conversation with Mayor Giménez, we agreed that it’s best that we do it together as a region,” Holness said. “If we open one section of the beach or one city, and the others are not open, then we’ll have a crowd and get back to where we were.”
Those crowd concerns seem to have tamped down as Broward County moves forward in its reopening plan. Broward and Miami-Dade were added to the first phase of the state’s reopening on May 18.
Some residents and local officials have signaled an urge to begin returning to normalcy. Other parts of the state have already begun to reopen beaches, though with social distancing guidelines still in effect.