The Florida Keys reopened to visitors Monday, June 1, after being closed to nonresidents since March 22 to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19.
Reopening measures included the removal of health checkpoints on two roads into the island chain, and the suspension of airport health screenings — except for passengers on nonstop flights from designated COVID-19 hotspot states.
Keys lodging properties, restaurants, beaches and other attractions have implemented safeguards that include enhanced sanitizing, reduced occupancy limits, required social distancing, the wearing of masks and other safety protocols. In addition, new signage is in place to remind the public of the health protocols.
“We’re excited about guests coming back to our place and we’re excited to have guests coming back to the Florida Keys,” said Mike Shipley, owner of the Island Bay Resort, a small property in Tavernier.
“We’ve been waiting for this for 10 weeks,” Shipley said. “It’s been a lot of sleepless nights; you didn’t know where the next dollar was going to come from.”
As visitors return to the island chain, officials’ messaging stresses personal health responsibility.
“Our messaging includes the idea of our visitors embracing protective measures such as hand washing, wearing of facial coverings and social distancing,” said Stacey Mitchell, director of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the destination marketing office for the Florida Keys.
Visit fla-keys.com to learn more about protective health practices for travelers and how to stay safe while enjoying the Florida Keys.