Citing concerns for increasing threats to the Florida Keys from COVID-19, Monroe County officials announced Thursday plans to close hotels, guest houses, short-term rentals in RV parks and vacation rentals beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 22. This was done in the interest of public safety and due to the number of increasing cases in the counties north of Monroe County.
Hotels were directed tonight to no longer take reservations effective immediately, the visitors already here must leave by Sunday at 6 p.m. This will be in effect for the next 14 days until further notice and will be reevaluated every day. The County has already seen a steady decline in visitor flow. The ban applies to all leisure visitors and all non-essential personnel who are not working in the Florida Keys.
The County continues to follow the directives of the Centers for Disease Control, the Florida Department of Health, and State of Florida Governor’s Office Executive Orders and will continue to allow restaurants to operate at 50 percent capacity to serve residents who are in the Florida Keys as long as the State of Florida directives for spacing and capacity are being followed.
The County will continue to keep its county-owned parks and beaches open for residents to practice social distancing that is productive for mental and physical health. Users must follow the directive of the State that says all congregating must be done in small groups of less than 10 people. Law enforcement is patrolling all areas on a regular basis. County-owned playgrounds are being sanitized twice daily.
The County encourages all non-essential business operations be reduced to maintain the directive of less than 10 people and 6 feet social distancing. The County encourages those in the community who can work from home to do so, especially if they are considered a part of the vulnerable population.
As of 5 p.m. today, there are no confirmed coronavirus cases in Monroe County. Testing continues throughout the County at the discretion of a doctor or healthcare professional.