Drivers face 2 checkpoints limiting access to Florida Keys during coronavirus pandemic

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – Drivers heading from South Florida to the Florida Keys face two Monroe County Sheriff’s Office checkpoints during the coronavirus pandemic.

Monroe County issued an emergency declaration closing the area to all tourists on March 20, but the lack of compliance prompted Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers to tighten measures.

“'Come as you are!' That is our motto,” Carruthers said. “And we are going to still say, ‘Come as you are!' But later."

Deputies started to screen drivers heading southbound on Friday morning at Manatee Bay Marina on U.S. 1 at Mile Marker 112.5 and at Card Sound Road, also known as State Road 905.

Deputies are only allowing drivers who can prove they have essential business in Monroe County or live there permanently.

  • Proof of residency can be demonstrated with a resident re-entry sticker, local identification, utility bill, deed, lease, or tax bill.
  • Those actively engaged in work in the Florida Keys, such as construction workers, will need to show a letter from their employer, employee identification, a paystub, or current construction contract in the Keys.
  • First responders, healthcare workers, and military actively engaged in work in the Keys will need proper identification.

About the Authors:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.