COVID 19 RESPONSE: MASK PREFERENCE UP TO BUSINESS
The City of Key West will help enforce mask policies of individual businesses but previous City ordinances related to COVID restrictions are no long punishable following an executive order signed by Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday that returned 100% capacity to all businesses (see tab below).
The City made this statement:
The City of Key West thanks its residents, guests, and businesses for continuing to use face coverings to keep each other safe. While the Governor’s recent order removes the City’s ability to penalize businesses, they still require individuals to mask while entering their premises. The City will continue to respond to businesses that call when individuals refuse to leave after failing to follow the businesses’ reasonable requests. Key West has kept its Covid-19 numbers relatively low because we have worked together to protect our community. We ask that you continue to remain vigilant, mask up, social distance and wash your hands. Building back our economy is essential and we must remain healthy to do so.
Latest Visitor Advisories
COUNTY AMENDS FACIAL COVERING ORDINANCE, ADDS STRICTER PENALTIES FOR NON-COMPLIANCE & MANDATORY BUSINESS CLOSURES IF EMPLOYEE TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
July 16, 2020
MONROE COUNTY, FL – The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners amended Monroe County Ordinance 014-2020 to add stricter penalties for non-compliance of wearing facial coverings, a mandatory three day closures for cleaning and disinfection of business establishments with an employee who test positive for COVID-19, and the ability for county or municipal code compliance officers to issue a notice to appear or civil citation upon observation of a violation along with local law enforcement.
Monroe County requires all persons over the age of six to wear a facial covering whenever away from their home and unable to engage in social distancing. Every person over the age of six who is away from his or her residence shall carry a face covering capable of immediate use.
The ordinance requires operators and employees of business establishments ensure customers comply within the establishment. A face covering MUST cover the nose and mouth and may include a face mask, homemade mask, or other cloth, silk, or linen covering, such as a scarf, bandana, handkerchief, or other similar cloth covering. There is an exception for those seated at a restaurant, and for gym and barbershop patrons. Exceptions can be found at www.monroecountyem.com/covid19.
The mandatory facial covering directive applies throughout Monroe County and the municipalities, but the municipalities may impose additional restrictions. Key West does have a stricter facial covering requirement for those to wear a facial covering regardless of social distancing while outside the home.
A law enforcement officer may arrest or issue a notice to appear for any knowing and intentional violations committed in his or her presence or through an arrest warrant. Violations shall be prosecuted by the State Attorney of the 16th Judicial Circuit. A person found in violation may be punished by up to 60 days in the County jail and/or a fine of up to $500.
The amendment allows a county or municipal code compliance officer, as well as a law enforcement officer, upon observation of a violation by a person who does not immediately put on a face covering after receiving a warning, to issue a notice to appear or civil citation to appear in County Court. Any person or business establishment prosecuted under this subsection and found in violation of this ordinance may be punished by a fine of up to $500. Code officers can also issue an administrative notice of violation with fines of up to $1,000 for a first offense and $5,000 for a repeat offense. Each day a violation of this ordinance occurs is considered a separate offense.
In addition to the facial covering amendments, each operator of a business establishment must close to the public that establishment for at least 3 days if the operator or an employee of the establishment tests positive for COVID19. Before reopening, the operator must disinfect the premises of the business establishment according to guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health. Any operator or employee exposed to the positive employee must quarantine and/or isolate for 14 days from the date of last contact with the infected employee or until a valid negative test for COVID19. The closure provision does not apply to essential businesses as defined by Executive Order 20-91, as amended.
Code compliance numbers for reporting violations:
- Unincorporated Monroe County: 305-289-2819
- Key West: 305-809-3740
- Marathon: 305-289-5024
- Key Colony Beach: 305-289-1212 ext. 3
- Islamorada: 305-664-6435
- Layton: 305-664-4667
After hours or weekend issues needing immediate attention can be addressed to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at 305-289-2351 for unincorporated Monroe County, Marathon, Layton, and the Village of Islamorada, and for the City of Key West contact Key West Police Department at 305-809-1000.
The State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) still has in effect its emergency order prohibiting alcoholic beverage sales for consumption on premises by bars. Under DBPR’s order, restaurants including those with liquor licenses must limit indoor dining to 50 percent capacity of their indoor seating capacity and continue to follow social distancing requirements. Report businesses violating the Governor’s Executive Order 20-139 to www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/emergency/.
Additional Monroe County COVID-19 related information can be found at www.monroecountyem.com/covid19.
Public Information Officer, Monroe County
July 13, 2020
The Key West City Commission on July 13th passed a new update to the City’s emergency directive requiring every person over the age of six (6), while physically located within the City of Key West, and who is away from their residence, shall wear a face covering at all times, regardless of whether social distancing is also maintained.
In addition, the operator and/or employee of a business establishment shall ensure that every individual while on the premises of that establishment complies with this directive.
The ordinance gives an added level of enforcement to police and code to write civil citation for infractions. In addition, the ordinance addresses violations by businesses. It states that any business cited twice for the violation of the ordinance will be shut down for a minimum of 24 hours and subject to a full compliance review.
A covering over the nose and mouth may include a face mask, homemade mask, or other cloth, silk, or linen covering, such as a scarf, bandana, handkerchief, or other similar cloth covering. Medical and surgical face masks, such as “N95” masks, should be reserved for health care personnel and other first responders with the greatest need for such personal protective equipment. Children under the age of six (6) are not required to wear a mask.
A link to the ordinance is available below, with important details bolded.
JUNE 26, 2020
The Key West City Commission on Friday unanimously approved an ordinance that mirrors the City’s emergency directive requiring masks in establishments and outdoors when social distancing is not possible. The ordinance gives an added level of enforcement to police and code to write civil citation for infractions. In addition, the ordinance addresses violations by businesses. It states that any business cited twice for the violation of the ordinance will be shut down for a minimum of 24 hours and subject to a full compliance review. A link to the ordinance is available below, with important details beginning on page 6 in Section 3.
June 18, 2020
MONROE COUNTY MAKES WEARING FACIAL COVERINGS IN PUBLIC SETTINGS MANDATORY, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
MONROE COUNTY, FL – The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners voted today to make facial coverings mandatory throughout Monroe County, effective immediately.
Facial coverings over the nose and mouth must be worn by all employees and all customers in business establishments and other public settings where there is a roof overhead. The ordinance contains applies to employees and customers. The ordinance permits restaurant and bar patrons to remove their masks while seated and eating or drinking and allows those working out in gyms to remove their face coverings while actively exercising, provided there is at least six feet of distance from the next closest person. The ordinance recommends that everyone over six years old carry a mask with them whenever they are away from home and recommends that they wear mask wherever they come within six feet of another person.
A face covering must cover the nose and mouth and may include a face mask, homemade mask, or other cloth, silk, or linen covering, such as a scarf, bandana, handkerchief, or other similar cloth covering. Medical and surgical face masks, such as “N95” masks, should be reserved for health care personnel and other first responders with the greatest need for such personal protective equipment.
Violation of the ordinance is punishable by fines, but not jail time. Monroe County Code Compliance has an established a dedicated hotline number for those who wish to report businesses not in compliance regarding facial coverings with current COVID-19 Monroe County Emergency Directives in unincorporated Monroe County.
The ordinance applies throughout the County though the City of Key West and other municipalities may adopt ordinances with different requirements. Monroe County Code Compliance will investigate violations in the unincorporated areas of the County while municipal code compliance departments will respond to reports of violations within their jurisdictions.
Code Compliance numbers include:
- Unincorporated Monroe County Dedicated Non-Compliance Number: 305-289-2819
- Key West 24-hour Code Compliance Number: 305-809-1101
- Marathon Code Compliance: 305-289-5024
- Key Colony Beach Code Compliance: 305-289-1212 ext. 3
- Islamorada Code Compliance: 305-664-6435
- Layton Code Compliance: 305-664-4667
If after hours, or the weekend, leave a message and the complaint will be addressed the following business day. After hour or weekend issues needing immediate attention outside of the City of Key West, call the Monroe County Sheriff Office Non-Emergency Line at 305-289-2351. Monroe County COVID-19 related information and the new ordinance can be found at www.monroecountyem.com/covid19. The State of Florida’s Executive orders can be found at www.flgov.com.
Please continue to follow social distancing guidelines of 6-feet between others and washing your hands to prevent the spread of this disease.
June 4th – List of Key West Chamber member restaurants that are open. Click Here
For the latest information visit www.fla-key.com
KEYS TOURISM ADVISORY May 17 ● 4 p.m.
Florida Keys Officials Target June 1 to Begin Reopening to Visitors
Monroe County officials Sunday announced they are targeting Monday, June 1, to reopen the Florida Keys to visitors following the island chain’s closure to tourists March 22 to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19.
The easing of visitor restrictions is to coincide with the planned June 1 suspension of checkpoints on two roads leading from the South Florida mainland to the Keys.
Lodging is to be limited to 50 percent of standard occupancy during beginning stages of reopening.
Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers cautioned that timing plans to reopen the Keys to visitors could be hampered if there are significant increases in coronavirus cases in the Keys or on the South Florida mainland.
New coronavirus infections in Monroe County have been greatly reduced, health officials said, and the infection rate in Miami-Dade and Broward has eased, enabling officials in those counties to begin reopening businesses and public facilities.
Carruthers said that Keys lodging and other tourism-related businesses are preparing for a “new normal” to host visitors.
New disinfecting and social distancing guidelines, as well as mandatory wearing of face coverings for both visitors and tourism industry staff members, are to be initiated with input from the Florida Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
In the case of larger resorts and tourism-related businesses, corporate offices likely will help to establish procedures.
Carruthers said the county plans to enforce the health guidelines.
Per Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-123, Monroe County’s administrator is to submit a written request and safety plan to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary to seek approval for the operation of licensed Florida Keys vacation rentals.
Resources for COVID-19 Information:
AHLA Industry-Wide Hotel Cleaning Standards
LATEST NEWS April 30, 2020 ● 6:15pm
Keys to Follow Florida Governor’s First Steps to Recovery
Monroe County officials Thursday said they will follow Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ recent directive that will relax restrictions on restaurants and most non-essential retail businesses.
The governor’s order allows retail businesses to operate at 25 percent of building capacity, but does not allow businesses to provide personal services, such as manicures or haircuts. Restaurants are to operate at 25 percent of indoor capacity. Outdoor seating capacity is not to be limited, as long as tables are 6 feet apart and seated parties are groups of 10 or less. According to the directive, bars and bar seating in restaurants must remained closed. Any business deriving more than 50 percent of its revenue from alcohol sales is considered a bar.
The new order is to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, May 4.
Local officials in Key West and Marathon announced similar directives for their communities. Key West reopened city beaches earlier this week and Marathon opened its beaches Thursday.
The Florida Keys remain closed to visitors, officials said, adding that they do not expect the destination to reopen in May.
Checkpoints at mile marker 112.5 on U.S. 1 and State Road 905 will remain in place and health screenings continue at Key West International and Marathon Florida Keys airports.
The county will continue the directive to use facial coverings in public settings. Senior citizens and individuals with an underlying medical condition are still strongly encouraged to stay at home and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
MONROE COUNTY April 27, 2020 ● 5:10pm
The Florida Keys Remain Closed to Visitors, Checkpoints Remain in Place
Monroe County –Monroe County remains closed to visitors. In an effort to loosen protective measures, the City of Key West announced Monday they would be opening parks, beaches, and recreational facilities to RESIDENTS. The checkpoints on U.S. 1 at Mile Marker 112.5 and State Road 905 remain in effect. The entire State of Florida remains under a “Safer at Home” order.
Motorists who cannot prove they live or own property in the Florida Keys, or cannot prove they are performing essential work in the Florida Keys should not attempt to come through the checkpoints. Documentation to prove residency, homeownership, or essential work can be found at www.monroecountyem.com/covid19 under “checkpoint.”
KEYS TOURISM ADVISORY April 7, 2020 ● 7:30 p.m.
News and information from the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, based on information from the Monroe County Emergency Management and Florida Department of Health.
Monroe County Officials Issue Directives for Essential Businesses, Checkpoints and Airport Screenings
Monroe County officials Tuesday issued directives for essential businesses, Upper Keys roadway checkpoints and airport screenings to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
All are to take effect Wednesday, April 8.
According to the directives:
• All essential businesses are mandated to deploy strategies to reduce COVID-19 spread. They include limiting capacity to 50 percent of maximum occupancy, and providing hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes for use by customers and employees. All employees of grocery stores, pharmacies, food distribution points, hardware stores and other essential businesses where 10 or more people may be present shall be required to wear a form of covering over their nose and mouth at all times. Delivery service workers are required to wear face coverings as well. The county directive, that comes on the heels of a similar order in Key West, establishes minimum standards.
• Residents traveling southbound on the Overseas Highway will now be required to prove residency with an original Florida driver’s license or identification card showing the address of a property located in Monroe County. Also to be accepted at the roadway checkpoints are a hard-copy deed, lease, utility bill, tax bill or vehicle registration for a property located in Monroe County with a government-issued driver’s license or identification card with the same name. Other previous rules involving non-residents who have legitimate business in Monroe County apply. Hurricane re-entry stickers will no longer be accepted.
• At both Key West International Airport and Florida Keys Marathon International Airport, all people arriving by aircraft who deplane will be screened for COVID-19. Screenings are to be conducted by Monroe County Fire Rescue or the Monroe County Health Department. Each person screened shall isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days or the duration of that person’s stay in the county, whichever is shorter.