The roadblocks are going away! After being closed over over two months, it was announced on Sunday, May 17 that the Florida Keys will finally reopen to visitors on Monday, June 1st.
The Keys had originally closed on March 22nd. Although they stretch for 160 miles, their total population is very small (just over 77,000 during the 2014 census). They only have 2 small hospitals, with limited beds. And as a tourist destination, the fear was that tourists who were COVID positive would visit and get sick, or visit and spread the virus. Either way, their hospitals would never be able to handle the influx. So the decision was made to close the Keys off, and have a roadblock so the only people who could enter were residents.
In late April it was announced the closure would be extended through at least May 31. By that point, Miami-Dade and Broward counties, which are the 2 counties closest to the Florida Keys, had a high-and-still-growing amount of coronavirus cases and Keys officials didn’t think it was safe to reopen at that time.
Those two counties are now showing a decrease in cases, and cases in the Keys remain low, so authorities are willing to ease restrictions.
On June 1st, the roadblocks will come down and the screenings of those who arrive by plane will end. The Keys will be open, but visitors will be mandated to wear a face covering. Hotels, bed & breakfasts and other lodging establishments will have to submit a sanitation plan before they can reopen, and hotels will be allowed to book up to 50% capacity. Retail storefronts, as well as restaurants, have been slowly opening throughout the month of May while staying in line with the governors’ plan for reopening.
Bars are not allowed to reopen at this time. Which, for Key West, is a shame. But their time will come.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary