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Florida Keys Open to Visitors

The Florida Keys reopened to visitors June 1, but the novel coronavirus remains a reality, despite the relaxation of travel restrictions to the island chain. If you’re traveling to the Keys, there are simple precautions to take.

As a vacation rental company, the following are the measures we are implementing:

Recommended Safety Measures 
Effective May 18, 2020, the following measures are recommended as minimum standards for vacation rentals that are accepting reservations and guests for any length of stay:

  • Maintain adequate time between the conclusion of a guest stay and the check-in of the next guest stay for appropriate cleaning and sanitation.
  • Clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in the property between each guest stay
  • Wash all linens, dishware, and other service items available for use by guests between each guest rental.
  • Provide sufficient soap and surface sanitation supplies for guests to utilize in the vacation rental property during the guest’s rental period.
  • Ensure adequate safety protocols are in place and publicly displayed, in line with CDC guidance, regarding shared or multi-residence amenities such as pools, gyms, and other communal spaces.

Other Best Practices
Effective May 18, 2020, the following best practices are also recommended for vacation rentals that are accepting reservations and guests for any length of stay:

  • Use mobile platforms for customer service and communication with guests, including the acceptance of payments by mobile or electronic methods.
  • Minimize direct guest contact with property owners or managers through remote check-in and check-out procedures.
  • Post signage or other notices regarding the cleaning practices that are completed prior to each stay.
  • Display signage or notices to guests in the rental property to frequently remind guests to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the wiping and sanitation of touched surfaces.

The following guidance is recommended for all visitors arriving from areas outside the Keys as well as for residents of the island chain. It satisfies officials’ request for voluntary public health measures and personal responsibilities. Read Here


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The Many Bridges of the Overseas Highway

Once you’ve entered Monroe County, and have crossed over Jewfish Creek Bridge, you are officially off the “mainland”. You are now ready for your journey of island hopping. If traveling all the way to Key West, you will have 42 bridges to cross to get there. Each one has its own magical view. Going south, you will have the ocean on your left-hand side and the bay will be to your right. Which also means if your crossing a bridge during sunrise, the beauty of the sun coming up will be on your right side and if traveling during dusk, the sunset will be on your right, or bayside.

Of these 42 bridges, there’s one that stands out the most, the infamous “Seven Mile Bridge”. It connects the Middle Keys to the Lower Keys. Looking to the right, as you’re headed south, you’ll notice another older, rickety bridge that’s missing sections. That’s the original bridge built under the direction of Henry Flagler.  It was Flagler’s idea to connect our islands with a train called The Overseas Railroad. Unfortunately, his railroad was damaged in the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, and the bridge was converted for motorized traffic.  That bridge was shut down to traffic in the early 80’s and the new bridge was constructed. You will also notice an island off to the right. That would be Pigeon Key, it was used to house the construction workers during the construction of the railroad.

Of all these bridges, amazingly, only one is a drawbridge. It’s located right here in Islamorada at Snake Creek. To locals, it can be a pain to have to stop and wait as a vessel cruises through, but to those visiting, it can give you a chance to look around at the waters, boats and birds.

If traveling in the Keys and you say, “we’ll cross that bridge later”, it may be sooner than later!