With only two positive COVID-19 cases reported to date, the village of Islamorada will enter the first phase of Governor Ron DeSantis’ reopening plan starting Monday, May 4.
On April 29, DeSantis announced that the State of Florida would move to Phase 1 of the “Safe.” Clever. Step by step. Plan for the Florida takeover. Based on the recommendations set out in Executive Decree 20-112, the village of Islamorada remains committed to the public health of our residents and businesses by determining how to reopen the village safely and methodically and begin the process of restoring the local economy.
County Monroe remains closed to visitors. A critical part of our recovery process is the continuation of entry checkpoints into US 1. Checkpoints have been critical to the safety of our residents and, although they remain in effect, they provide the ability to methodically stagger our reopening and implement recommended restrictions on a trial basis prior to our full opening. Screenings will continue at Key West International and Marathon Florida Keys airports.
Measures to reopen villages – Phase I
As of Monday, May 4, most “non-essential” businesses in the village will be allowed to reopen at 25% of their capacity. This list of non-essential businesses that can open with restrictions includes restaurants and retail stores. Businesses that are to remain closed include gyms, fitness centers, nightclubs, and personal services at barber shops, barber shops, and nail salons.
Vacation rentals cannot accept guests and all accommodation establishments remain closed. All reopening businesses must follow the requirements set out in OE 20-112 and take personal responsibility for maintaining best social distancing practices. For a complete list of non-essential businesses that must remain closed, please refer to Executive Decree 20-112.
Islamorada will continue to enforce the directive to use face coverings in essential businesses. The elderly and those with an underlying medical condition are still strongly encouraged to stay in their homes and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Outdoor parks and recreation areas:
As of Monday, May 4, the village will partially reopen Founders Park and Founders Park Beach to village residents only. ID must be presented to enter the park. Founders Park Park and Beach will be open from sunrise to sunset for passive and limited individual and family use only, as permitted and in accordance with current CDC and State Department of Health guidelines.
No group of more than 10 people is allowed and a maximum of 25 users will be allowed on the beach at any time. Beach activities for individual and family use such as sunbathing, swimming, including wading and floating, kayaking, etc. All users should practice and maintain social distancing (6 foot separation).
In addition, the following are open with specific restrictions:
- Trails: Open for walking, hiking, jogging, and biking: Users should alert others to their presence and withdraw to let others pass.
- Athletics and baseball fields: No organized games.
- Tennis courts: Singles play only. No more than 10 users in the waiting room.
- Pickleball courts: Singles play only. No more than 10 users in the waiting room.
- Basketball court: individual game only. No games or contact. Must have your own equipment, not shared use.
- Dog park: will be regulated for a maximum of 10 visitors at a time. This will be strictly enforced by park staff. People must maintain a physical distance of 6 feet.
- Fitness Park: Remains CLOSED.
- Golf driving cage: no more than two users at a time.
- Play areas: Stay CLOSED.
- Picnic areas, tikis and pavilion: for individual use only. Stay CLOSED for group use. Grids not available for use.
- Washrooms (beach, tennis courts and community center): no more than two occupants at a time. The toilets will be cleaned frequently.
All other parks, including Library Beach and Anne’s Beach, and Islamorada recreation areas will remain closed.
Elected officials and village staff recognize that the community’s efforts in social distancing and home support have been an integral part of the village’s fight against this pandemic. These new measures are the next steps in our recovery, through intelligent and methodical steps.
For this to work effectively, residents and businesses MUST continue to follow Governor’s decrees and adhere to CDC guidelines for social distancing, as well as recommendations from the FDOH. This means avoiding non-essential travel, self-isolation after potential exposure to the virus, avoiding large congregations, and maintaining a safe distance from each other in public.
“We encourage everyone in the village to stay safe and protect and protect each other as we embark on the road to recovery,” the village said in a statement.