Airports, Lodging, Vacation Rentals & Travel

Monroe County is closed to all tourists and leisure visitors UNTIL MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2020

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Photo Credit: Rahn Clayton

Key West International and Florida Keys Marathon Airports

Until May 31, 2020, all arriving passengers regardless of origination will be screened at Key West International and Marathon Florida Keys International airports. On June 1st, airport screenings of passengers traveling from highly affected COVID-19 areas will continue, per Executive Order 20-80 and Executive Order 20-82

Monroe County Emergency Directive 20-19

Key West International Airport continues to operate, pursuant to and consistent with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transportation Security Administration. Airports are regulated by the FAA, and no airports in the United States have been restricted. Any restriction on aviation would be issued from the federal level. In addition to commercial planes, the airport also hosts general aviation, which is also regulated by the FAA. 

  1. All persons arriving by aircraft who deplane at Key West International Airport and the Florida Keys Marathon International Airport shall be screened for COVID19 using protocols developed by the Monroe County Health Department as approved by the Director of Airports.
  2. Screenings may be conducted by personnel of the Monroe County Health Department, Monroe County Fire Rescue Department, and when requested by the Monroe County Fire Chief, personnel of any municipal fire department as approved by the Director of Airports.
  3. Each person screened shall isolate or quarantine at that person’s own expense for a period of 14 days or the duration of that persons stay in the County, whichever is shorter.
  4. All persons screened shall be provided with a copy of this Directive.
  5. Violations of this order shall be punishable pursuant to F.S. 252.50, with a period of incarceration of up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.00. Additional charges may be prosecuted if other statutes are violated.

Florida Department of Health in Monroe County and the airports have implemented state-directed screening, which includes a separate facility and isolation area. Passengers will fill out the Dept. of Health-required questionnaire and have their temperatures taken. The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County trained Monroe County Fire Rescue to provide the follow up for individuals listed in the executive order.

State of Florida: Travel Restrictions Still In Place

Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-82, directing all persons who enter the State of Florida from an area with substantial community spread, to include the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana, or any other area with substantial community spread), to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida or the duration of the person’s presence in the State of Florida, whichever is shorter.

Lodging is Closed to Visitors Until June 1

Monroe County has amended its visitor directive lodging establishments to remain closed until June 1, 2020.

The Emergency Directive 20-02 2nd Amendment states that lodging establishments (hotels, motel, vacation rental, marina, RV park) authorization to begin accepting reservations, contingent that those reservations can only be honored starting June 1, 2020. Monroe County plans to reopen to visitors Monday, June 1 by suspending the checkpoints on U.S. 1 and State Road 905 and allowing lodging establishments to take guests but recommends maintaining occupancies at 50 percent or less for the first few weeks for the safety of their employees and visitors.

Those wishing to provide short-term rentals to essential workers may contact Francie Boellard 305-289-2589 or email her boellard-francie@monroecounty-fl.gov

The ban does not include rentals for military, first responders, health care workers, and construction workers actively engaged in projects in Monroe County. There are no restrictions for homeowners and second homeowners who have houses in the Florida Keys. 

Vacation Rentals Approved to Rent beginning June 1, 2020

Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi received notification that Monroe County’s plan for reopening vacation rentals was approved by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) secretary per Governor Executive Order 20-123. Monroe County licensed vacation rentals can resume on June 1 along with hotels and other lodging establishments providing property owners and managers enhance protective measures for reservations, cleaning requirements, and new protocols for vacation rental housekeepers and property staff.

Under these new guidelines, reservations from COVID-19 hot spots identified by the Governor are to be avoided for the next 30-45 days. COVID-19 identified hotspots according to the governor are New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Louisiana. Reservations from international guests will not be allowed until further notice.

House cleaning procedures should conform to the new enhanced standards issued by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, CDC, and DBPR. In addition to the enhanced standards, remote check-in and check-outs will be made available, along with printed copies of CDC regulations and guidelines and printed copies of local COVID-19 regulations and restrictions and signage highlighting the new cleaning protocols will be placed on the property. Cleaning and property staff will wear facial coverings and gloves and practice social distancing from each other while on property and maintain a schedule that does not coincide with the guest’s arrival or stay.

Vacation Rentals Non-Compliance 

The Emergency Directive 20-02 (Tourist Ban) Enforcement Protocol was collaboratively developed by Monroe County and the five municipalities with input from the Tax Collector, the Sheriff, and the State Attorney. Law enforcement officers are not prevented from taking steps to enforce Emergency Directive 20-02 if, in the officer’s discretion, immediate action is warranted.

  • Complaints: call 1-855-422-4540, the Tax Collector’s hotline.
  • Tax Collector will reach out to account holders and warn against renting during this State of Emergency and will warn those without accounts of consequences of renting without an account.
  • Tax Collector staff will refer complaints, as they come in, to the Code Compliance department within the jurisdiction for the property’s location.
  • The local Code Compliance Department will reach out to complainants to investigate. Code will advise owners, managers, and/or renters of the ban and consequences of non-compliance.
  • If Code Compliance does not obtain voluntarily compliance, Code will refer case to primary law enforcement agency for their jurisdiction. The State Attorney’s Office investigative division will also help with law enforcement responses.
  • Law enforcement will take the investigative information and initiate contact with violator(s) (owner, manager, and/or renter). If probable cause to believe there is a violation of Emergency Directive 20-02, law enforcement officer will issue a notice to appear (NTA) for violating an emergency directive issued during a state of emergency in violation of F.S. 252.50, a misdemeanor.
  • The State Attorney’s Office will prosecute violations in County Court.

KEY WEST TRANSIT AND LOWER KEYS SHUTTLE

Key West Transit and Lower Keys Shuttle have limited fixed-route bus service available.

MIAMI-DADE TRANSIT

The 301 from Miami-Dade to Monroe County is operating on an abbreviated route, with its last southbound stop being at MM 88 in Tavernier, at the Tom Thumb convenience store. The restriction ends June 1, 2020.

PORT OF KEY WEST

  • Major U.S. cruise lines have voluntarily suspended operations due to COVID-19.
  • The port is still open for marine traffic which includes recreational vessels.
  • The Ferry Terminal in Key West is closed to incoming passengers. 

Naval Air Station Key West

  • Closed to all recreational visitors until further notice

Vulnerable Populations

The Governor also issued Executive Order 20-83, directing the State Surgeon General and State Health Officer to issue a public health advisory to all persons over 65 years of age urging them to stay home and to take such other measures as necessary to limit their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Visitor Information