Not surprisingly, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Coronavirus and what it’s like here on the ground in Key West.
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN AS I AM UPDATING THIS EVERYDAY. The most recent information is at the bottom.
3/14/20: In a nutshell, the answer is “not much has changed for visitors.” For those of you asking if the grocery stores and gas stations are still open, yes they are. There is no apocalyptic scene down here. I was at Publix yesterday and it was not crowded with lines or anything. People were polite and letting others go ahead of them. But the toilet paper shelf has been looking low for sure (it’s all good…we have toilet paper on the boats) and some of the produce was low as well (citrus, tomatoes, potatoes). Public and Winn Dixie close at 8pm now.
It’s spring break here, although it isn’t nearly as crowded as previous years. Charter boats are still taking people out. Beaches are still open (except Smathers as of 3/16/20), the restaurants and bars are open, but it is only a matter of time before they close them down too. (see additional updates below the videos).
*All Florida State Parks ares still open (Ft. Zachary Taylor Beach, Bahia Honda State Park, etc..), however events and activities at the parks are cancelled and they are closing at 5pm.
*I do know that the 7-Mile Bridge Run (scheduled for March 28) was postponed. Schools are closed.
Here’s a few clips over the weekend of 3/13–3/15. I will add more.
Friday Video Clips:
Saturday 3/15 Videos
Saturday morning at Publix (continued) The toilet paper aisle…
UPDATE MONDAY MORNING 3/15: Monroe County & Key West declared local state of emergency. There was no word of closing any businesses/beaches etc.. but official Monroe County events of more than 50 people are cancelled and private/business gatherings are urged to remain under 50 people.
Here’s some information from the Florida Keys Tourism Board:
UPDATE MONDAY NIGHT 3/16/20:
– Smathers Beach, Southernmost marker, and Sunset Celebration are closed. Higgs Beach and South Beach and Ft. Zach beach still open.
UPDATE TUESDAY MORNING: 3/17/20: some museums are closing such as The Custom House, Eco Discovery Center, the Key West Lighthouse, Fort East Martello, and Tennessee Williams Museum.
Update on the food situation: Today (3/17/20) meat products were low. Toilet paper pretty much impossible to find (paper towels are still around though). Bottle water I could find but I had to go to a couple stores. Everything else is being restocked regularly. Canned products, eggs produce, etc… all that is still here.
UPDATE TUESDAY AFTERNOON 3/17/20: The state of Florida announced that all bars in Florida must close at 5pm today. Restaurants can serve to go food only.
UPDATE TUESDAY NIGHT 3/17/20: As of 7pm, several restaurants and bars (primarily on Duval Street/Downtown) are ignoring the ban, serving drinks and food, and it’s a full on party on Duval Street for St. Patty’s. Note that many restaurants are honoring the ban.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY 3/18: Restaurants in Key West are take out only. In County property dine in is allowed but in accordance with the CDC requirements. (So places like the Hurricane Hole on Stock Island are still serving for dine-in).
Obviously everyone should make informed decisions based on their own health and information from the CDC. As this has progressed the general advice is “stay home.”
I will try and keep this page updated as much as possible to give you an idea how Coronavirus is affecting Key West. As of 3/17/20 we don’t have any confirmed cases but testing is REALLY minimal.
Let’s all hope they find a way to treat this disease and life can go back to normal sooner than later. We are still honoring existing reservations this week and accepting new bookings for this week (through . Next week we are on pause at the moment to see how things shake out.
3/19/20: The Keys has its first confirmed case in Key Largo (Ocean Reef Resort).
3/20/20: Governor DeSantis closes all Florida restaurants for dine in. (take out only). Gyms also closed. Prior to this County restaurants (like the Hurricane Hole) were still allowing dine in service.
3/20/20: The Florida Keys are closing to visitors beginning Sunday 3/21/20
I haven’t been to the grocery store lately but the pet store made me order the dog food outside. We all had to wait in line outdoors (6 feet from one another) and the staff would go shopping. They made light of it by asking if this one guy wanted a side of fries with his order of live goldfish for his fish tank…