30 May 2020
KEY WEST, Fla. -- As the Florida Keys visitor industry reopened the island chain to travelers June 1, the Keys tourism council’s messaging during COVID-19 is stressing personal health responsibility.
 
The Keys have been closed to tourists since March 22 to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 during the global outbreak.
 
“Our messaging includes the idea of our visitors embracing protective measures such as hand washing, wearing of facial coverings, social distancing,” said Stacey Mitchell, director of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the destination marketing office for the Florida Keys.
 
The Keys tourism council’s website, fla-keys.com, highlights protective health practices for visitors to adopt while in the destination.
 
There’s even a new video featuring Dr. Mark Whiteside, Monroe County’s medical director, who messages important safety information.
 
And signage has been provided to Keys lodging.
 
“It all boils down to personal responsibility, and it’s up to you,” Whiteside said. “It’s like Smokey the Bear in preventing forest fires: only you can prevent transmission of COVID.”
 
The Keys’ June 1 reopening includes 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.

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UserID: floridakeys@news.fla-keys.com
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