Iconic Florida Keys to reopen from June, with caveats for road trippers…

One of America’s most iconic road trip destinations, the Florida Keys, is looking to reopen to visitors from June 1.

The island chain closed March 22, but visitor restrictions will be eased with the suspension of checkpoints on two roads leading from the South Florida mainland to the Keys, officials have said.

It’s not business as usual though. Accommodation will be limited to 50 percent of standard occupancy, during the early stages of reopening. Local leaders will make adjustments as the situation develops, we’re told.

It’s not business as usual though. Accommodation will be limited to 50 percent of standard occupancy…

The Keys are the ultimate road trip vacation

New coronavirus infections in the Florida Keys have reduced, according to health officials, and the infection rate in neighbouring Miami-Dade and Broward counties has eased, which has led to the reopening of businesses and public facilities. 

“Tourism is the economic lifeblood of the Keys and almost half of our workforce is employed in visitor-related jobs,” says Rita Irwin, chair of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.

The Keys begin just 90 minutes’ drive south from Miami, their five districts a popular tourist excursion, with miles of wide-open spaces and an extensive range of sustainable water-based activities including snorkelling, diving and kayaking.

The Overseas Highway with its Seven Mile Bridge is one of the world’s most recognisable routes. 

The Florida Keys was famously home to Ernest Hemingway, who lived there for eight years in the early thirties, writing Death in the Afternoon and To Have and Have Not, amongst many others, in his Spanish Colonial home, which is now a must-visit attraction.

Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers said that Keys tourism-related businesses are preparing for a ‘new normal’ to host visitors. This will include social distancing guidelines,and mandatory wearing of face coverings for both visitors and tourism industry staff members.

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