FLORIDA KEYS — Florida Keys officials and businesses remind visitors that carrying and wearing facial coverings and practicing social distancing continue for the island chain to protect against the spread of coronavirus, despite the easing of some statewide restrictions.

“We ask our visitors to continue protective measures such as wearing facial coverings, social distancing when they are close to others and frequent hand-washing,” said Stacey Mitchell, director of the Florida Keys tourism council. “The beauty of the Keys is that there are plenty of wide-open spaces throughout our islands and marine resources where masks are not needed.”

Facial coverings or masks over the nose and mouth must be carried and worn by everyone age 6 and older in business establishments open to the public including restaurants, outdoor Tiki venues and bars. Masks also are to be worn outdoors when social distancing of 6 feet is not possible.

Inside restaurants and bars, masks must be worn at all times except when patrons are seated and eating or drinking. Business establishments are subject to citations if customers and employees are not wearing masks.

Businesses including hotels and resorts, indoor restaurants, food establishments, indoor attractions and museums, retail shops, spas and bars are allowed to operate at full capacity under a recent executive order issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. However, in the Keys, social distancing of 6 feet must be maintained and bar service is allowed only for seated patrons.

Vacation rental properties are limited to two guests per bedroom, plus two people.

“The Keys tourism council and the tourism industry have been extremely proactive when it comes to COVID-19 safety,” said Bob Eadie, administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County. “We really want visitors to enjoy the Keys, but want to keep them, as well as our residents, healthy and safe.”

Because Keys mandates for slowing the spread of coronavirus continue to evolve, visitors are urged to visit the tourism council’s website, fla-keys.com, for updated details on protective health practices and directives to safeguard themselves and others. The site also features a video with Dr. Mark Whiteside, the county’s medical director, discussing important safety advice for health protection.

Florida Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com or 1-800-FLA-KEYS

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