Florida Keys makes mask wearing mandatory

Tribune Content Agency

The Florida Keys, which reopened to visitors on June 1, is making it mandatory for everyone in the destination to wear masks.

The Monroe County Commission decreed that facial coverings must “be worn by all residents and visitors while in business establishments and other public settings where there is a roof overhead.”

It is not mandated, however, to wear masks in lodging rooms or vacation rentals.

The ordinance allows bar and restaurant patrons to remove masks when seated and eating or drinking.

Additionally, visitors and residents do not have to wear masks when actively working out in gyms — the caveat being that there is 6 feet of distance between the closest person.

The decree recommended that anyone more than 6 years old wear masks whenever they come within 6 feet of another person, including in outdoor settings.

The destination closed its borders to visitors on March 22 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Unlike many Florida destinations, The Keys aren’t necessarily distinguished by their beaches, per se.

“People who come down here want to go snorkeling, they want to go scuba diving, they want to go fishing, they want to go paddle-boarding, they want to go kayaking out in the mangroves,” said Stacey Mitchell, director of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council. “Because we have such interactive marine resources, our visitors aren’t apt to just lie on the beach like a traditional beachgoer. There’s just so much more to see and do.”


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