The Florida Keys is effectively shutting down to tourists amid the coronavirus outbreak.
From Sunday, all accommodations including hotels, campgrounds, short-term rentals and other lodging will close.
The growing number of positive covid-19 cases in South Florida has led to the decision to close off the Keys to visitors, Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers.
The closure covers Key West, Marathon and other cities in Monroe County and applies to about 5,000 lodging establishments.
Any visitors currently staying in a monthly rental or for a longer period will be allowed to complete their stay.
“Protecting our residents is our top priority and we really didn’t see a scenario in which this wouldn’t eventually have to happen,” County Administrator Roman Gastesi said.
Gastesi said restaurants will likely be forced to close to sit-down dining but will be allowed to operate take-out and delivery service.
This is still being finalized.
All lodging and dining restrictions will last for 14 days initially.
“We sit on the border of the counties with the highest concentration of covid-19 in the state of Florida. We have to flatten the curve. Also, this is not out of line with what other popular tourist destinations are doing in the United States such as Las Vegas,” said Marathon Mayor Steve Cook.