Florida Keys reopens to visitors

Checkpoints keeping out visitors come down

A Monroe County Public Works employee loads traffic cones onto a truck as a checkpoint at the top of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway is dismantled Sunday, May 31, 2020, near Key Largo, Fla. The checkpoint was established March 27, 2020, to close the Keys to visitors in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. The Florida Keys are to officially reopen to visitors Monday, June 1. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO) (Andy Newman, Florida Keys News Bureau)

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – Checkpoints leading into the Florida Keys came down early Monday, two months after being set up to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The checkpoints were put into place March 22 to keep out tourists from entering the chain of islands in an effort slow the spread of COVID-19.

More than 18,750 cars coming from the mainland were turned away because drivers did not present the proper paperwork that showed they either worked or lived in the Florida Keys.

According to the Florida Keys News Bureau, nearly half of the Monroe County workforce are employed in tourism-related jobs.

With four deaths attributed to COVID-19, the Florida Keys has had about 110 coronavirus cases.

Despite its reopening to visitors, Keys officials stress the importance in continuing protective health practices, such as social distancing and washing your hands frequently with soap and water.

About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.