Miami.- The Florida Keys, the tourist rosary of islands and islets to the south of the Floridian peninsula will be closed to visitors starting next Sunday afternoon due to the coronavirus, the authorities of the area announced along with the report of the first case of a COVID-19 carrier.
The first case of contagion reported in the Keys and Monroe County was released this Friday and is that of a 70-year-old woman who visited the United Kingdom, and who is in good condition, according to health authorities.
Also, all tourist accommodation will close its doors on Sunday March 22 and will not be able to accept reservations for later.RELATED
In a statement, local authorities reported that a single exception to this rule applies to those visitors who are currently staying in rental homes and apartments or trailer parks with contracts for more than 28 days.
They may remain in the Keys until the end of their contracts.
So far no cases of coronavirus have been reported in Monroe County, to which the Keys belong, which are located between mainland Florida and northern Cuba.
According to the Florida Department of Health, 563 coronavirus cases have been detected in the state, eleven of them fatal. Of the total confirmed cases, at least 127 are related to travel.
Across the US there are at least 15,964 cases, of which 205 have been fatal.
The Florida Keys are one of the major tourist attractions of the so-called “sun state”.
“We know that shutting down the tourism industry is a major drawback for our visitors, but the health and safety of our visitors and residents are above all,” said Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers.
The mayor stressed that she expects tourists to return to the Keys when the health crisis is over and said she understands the magnitude of the economic impact that the announced measures are now going to have on residents.
According to official data, almost half a million people arrived in the Keys by air in 2019 and 965,000 disembarked from cruise ships.