Florida Keys closed to visitors

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Florida Keys officials have temporarily closed the destination to visitors until further notice due to coronavirus concerns. Throughout the 125-mile-long island chain, lodging businesses and tourism-related entities — including hotels, attractions, beaches, fishing piers, boat ramps and parks — are temporarily closed.
To restrict road access to non-residents, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is implementing southbound traffic stops at mile marker 112.5 on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway (U.S. 1), and on State Road 905 between Ocean Reef and the access point to U.S. 1 in Key Largo. The stops began Friday, March 27.
Only residents, property owners and those involved in work in the Florida Keys, including fuel tankers, delivery and grocery trucks, will be admitted. Officials advise there may be delays at checkpoints.
“We know that closing down the tourism industry is a major inconvenience for our visitors,” said Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers. “But the health and safety of our visitors and residents are paramount.
“We certainly hope our visitors will return to the Keys once the coronavirus crisis has passed,” she added. “We will be so thrilled to welcome people back.”
Officials are to re-evaluate the tourism closures and make changes when appropriate.
The Florida Keys & Key West continue to follow officially-mandated directives of federal state, county and city agencies including the Centers for Disease Control, the Florida Department of Health, and State of Florida Governor’s Office Executive Orders.
Despite the lodging closure, long-term renters in vacation homes and recreational vehicle parks who are presently in the Keys, and have contracts of 28 days or longer, are allowed to stay until the end of their contracts.
There are confirmed coronavirus cases in the Keys, according to Bob Eadie, administrator and health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County.
The Florida Department of Health has launched a COVID-19 dashboard, updated daily at 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. The resource includes data for the Florida Keys’ Monroe County.
The Florida Keys website at www.fla-keys.com offers destination-specific information on the coronavirus situation and tourism closures. It is updated daily or more frequently as needed.

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