- Özgür Töre
After closing to visitors March 22 to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19, the Florida Keys reopened to visitors June 1.
The Keys’ reopening included the removal of health checkpoints on two roads into the island chain, and the suspension of airport health screenings — except for passengers on nonstop flights from designated COVID-19 hotspot states.
Beginning June 15, Silver Airways is to resume nonstop service to Key West from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Orlando and Tampa international airports on 46-seat ATR42-600 aircraft.
The Florida Keys are a string of tropical islands stretching about 120 miles off the southern tip of the US state of Florida, between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.
They’re known as a destination for fishing, boating, snorkeling and scuba diving.
The southernmost city of Key West is famous for Duval Street’s many bars, Mallory Square’s nightly Sunset Celebration and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.
Keys lodging properties, restaurants, beaches, attractions, watersports, and other businesses have implemented safeguards.
These include enhanced sanitizing; reduced occupancy limits; required social distancing and the wearing of masks and barriers or increased space between seating areas and restaurant tables.
The Keys tourism industry supports about 26,500 jobs, according to a recent analytic study, employing about 45 percent of the 125-mile island chain’s workforce.