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Florida Keys Tourism: Welcome back and bring a mask

Florida Keys Tourism: Welcome back and bring a mask
Written by Harry S. Johnson

The Florida Keys & Key West reopened to visitors June 1, with officials urging everyone to take personal health actions to protect against the spread of COVID-19. A Keys-wide county ordinance requires that facial coverings must be worn by visitors and residents while in business establishments and other public settings where there is a roof overhead.

The ordinance permits restaurant and bar patrons to remove their masks while seated and eating or drinking. It is not mandated to wear a mask while in a lodging room or vacation rental.

Keys officials’ messaging also encourages visitors to take personal health responsibility and embrace protective measures such as social distancing and frequent hand-washing.

Throughout the Keys, lodging properties, restaurants, attractions, watersports, parks and other visitor venues have enhanced safeguards with added sanitization and distancing in restaurants, attractions and public venues.

The face covering ruling recommends that everyone over 6 years old carries a mask with them while in the Keys and puts it on wherever they come within 6 feet of another person, even in an outdoor setting.

A face covering must shield the nose and mouth and may include a face mask, homemade mask or other cloth, silk or linen covering such as a scarf, bandana, handkerchief or similar item. Those working out in gyms can remove their face coverings while actively exercising, provided there is at least 6 feet of distance from the closest person.

The Keys visitor website offers comprehensive COVID-19 guidelines for visitors traveling to the destination.