Broward Votes To Ease COVID Restrictions In Future

CBS4's Joan Murray reports restrictions will be relaxed once the adult vaccination rate reaches 50% and the positivity rate remains under 5% for 10 consecutive days.

Video Transcript

- Now to the latest in the road to fully reopening South Florida. Lifting curfews, allowing restaurants to welcome more customers, and allowing fans to return to major sporting events, officials are working toward normalcy.

- Well, after more than a year of COVID-19 safety restrictions, what does normalcy actually look like and when is that going to happen? CBS 4's Joan Murray is live in Fort Lauderdale with more. And it's great that we're actually talking about this, isn't it, Joan?

JOAN MURRAY: Yeah, and here we are on Las Olas, Elliott, more than a year after it all began when things were shutting down. Well, a lot has changed in that year, but we're still not where we need to be, and reopening is a work in progress. Sure, we all want the pandemic to be over after a year of loss, lockdowns and limitations, but in South Florida, the infection rate is around 8%. People are still getting sick and dying.

STEPHAN GUARCH: I mean, I think people are just getting, you know, quarantine fatigue at this point. You know, we're at a year.

JOAN MURRAY: We spoke to the cafe owners of a new business on Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale that opened two months ago.

STEPHAN GUARCH: Honestly, most people don't even talk about it anymore, you know? And so it's really just about, you know, people enjoying their day, going about, seeing the water, going on the run and whatever it may be. And I do think even the conversation of it is kind of exciting to begin with.

JOAN MURRAY: And while throughout Broward it may look like things are back to normal, technically it's not. On Tuesday, Broward mayor targeted possibly May 1 for reopening, but only if certain conditions are met. Half the adult population is fully vaccinated and the positivity rate has to be under 5% for 10 consecutive days. If that happens, social distancing at hotels would vanish and there would be no capacity limits at restaurants, retail stores and non-pro sporting events.

In Miami-Dade, it's a completely different story. On Monday, the midnight curfew will go away.

- We was really tired to stay at home, but I'm really happy now that we can have fun.

JOAN MURRAY: And the county has now fully opened retail and commercial establishments as long as people are wearing masks, the stores have sanitizers and everyone keeps six feet apart.

LAMOND REYNOLDS: COVID. I'm definitely scared of it but I'm vaccinated so I'm happy to be out and doing my thing and being able to be a tourist again.

JOAN MURRAY: But don't be making your cruise plans anytime soon. The CDC still has not signed off on sailing's, although we are told there are ongoing negotiations to possibly hatch sailings midsummer. Still a lot of rough waters ahead in those negotiations with the cruise industry and the CDC.

So you heard the mayor here in Broward, he wants a 50% vaccination rate among adults before we really see a full reopening, but we are still under 20%, so there's a lot of ground to make up in these weeks. Down in Miami-Dade, the vaccination rate overall is also just under 20%. Reporting live in Fort Lauderdale tonight, Joan Murray, CBS 4 News.