COUNTY WILL ALLOW LODGING ESTABLISHMENTS TO TAKE CONDITIONAL RESERVATIONS
MONROE COUNTY DOES NOT ANTICIPATE REOPENING TO VISITORS IN MAY
MONROE COUNTY Release May 8, 2020 – The Florida Keys continue to be closed to visitors and do not anticipate opening to non-residents during the month of May, and potentially longer. Monroe County amended Emergency Directive 20-02 to provide Florida Keys lodging businesses (motel, vacation rental, marina, RV park, and timeshare) authorization to begin accepting reservations, contingent that the reservations can only be honored if the current state of emergency is lifted.
The amended directive reads:
"No lodging establishment shall accept reservations, including extensions to current reservations, except for reservations that are expressly contingent upon the state of emergency being lifted or this Directive being rescinded by subsequent order. So long as the state of emergency continues or this Directive is in effect, contingent reservations shall be cancellable under the sole discretion of the lodging establishment or property guest/renter, and shall provide for a full refund to the guest of any payments made by the guest/renter or credit for a future stay should the time period reserved be prohibited under this Directive or any subsequent Directive or Executive Order. When making an advanced reservation, the lodging establishment's reservationist should communicate the above information to the potential visitor so there is a clear understanding of the situation and procedures that will follow."
The amended directive authorizes lodging and vacation rentals to take reservations for any time period, but the vacation stays cannot be fulfilled unless the local state of emergency is no longer in effect, which would also result in discontinuing the two informational checkpoints on the 18-mile stretch and State Road 905 and screenings at Key West and Marathon airports.
Monroe County has not announced a date to reopen to visitors but has been relaxing internal protective measures in conjunction with the Governor's orders. Emergency Management continues to closely monitor infection rates in Monroe County, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties and other hot spots that frequently travel to the Florida Keys.
PROTECTIONS IN PLACE ARE WORKING
MONROE COUNTY Release April 24, 2020 – In detailed discussions with Florida Dept. of Health in Monroe County, it is not anticipated that Monroe County will reopen to visitors in May. Monroe County understands there has been community discussion on opening dates for lodging and attractions, but because of the continued threat of COVID-19 in areas outside of Monroe County, not allowing visitors back to the Florida Keys will still be in place throughout May, and potentially longer given the state of the virus.
Monroe County Emergency Management and the Department of Health in Monroe County will monitor the results of each measure as it is relaxed, before moving on to the other phases.
Monroe County is still under a local state of emergency and has begun coordinating the draft framework with local municipalities to ensure a safe and unified approach to the “new normal.” As stated in a previous press release, the relaxing of protective measures may be considered when there are no new cases or a steady downward trend in the Florida Keys for at least two weeks, and analysis of results as testing becomes more widespread. The timeline for applying any benchmarks will not be tied to specific dates and the potential phases may move faster or slower. If issues re-arise, protective measures could be re-implemented.
The framework’s first phases are designed to provide some relief for residents of the Florida Keys and include opening outdoor recreational facilities throughout Monroe County and to begin the re-opening of non-essential businesses. These will be done after reviewing the actions Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.
Once benchmarks are met for the containment of the virus in a broader geographic area (including Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties), the final phases would include reopening lodging, removing the checkpoints coming into the Florida Keys, and lifting screening measures at the airports. Right now, the checkpoint has been beneficial in keeping the Florida Keys’ curve flat and Monroe County will continue to work with F-DOT to keep it in place.
View/download the Framework Table