Florida Keys to close lodging to visitors due to coronavirus concerns

(WSVN) - Officials in Monroe County have announced that hotels, guest houses, short-term rentals in RV parks and vacation rentals in the Florida Keys will close to visitors beginning Sunday due to increased coronavirus concerns.

In a statement released Thursday, officials said, “hotels were directed to no longer take reservations effective immediately, and the visitors already here must leave by Sunday at 6 p.m.”

Monroe County has seen a decline in visitors over the past few days, officials said, and the ban applies to all leisure visitors and non-essential personnel who are not working in the Florida Keys.

County officials said the closings will be in effect for at least two weeks.

In the meantime, the county said they will continue to allow restaurants to operate at 50% capacity.

Officials said they plan to keep the county-owned parks and beaches open for residents, who are asked to practice social distancing.

The county-owned playgrounds are also being sanitized twice a day, officials said.

As of 8 p.m. Thursday, there have been no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Monroe County, but officials said they are continuing to test for the virus throughout the county.

As of 11 a.m. Monday, Monroe County has closed all fishing bridges and public boat ramps to visitors in the Florida Keys.