The Monroe County Office of Emergency Management announced Monday morning that all Florida Keys fishing bridges are closed and all public boat ramps are closed to visitors due to a directive that says that Monroe County is closed to visitors due to increased threats of COVD-19.
Sheriff Rick Ramsay ordered increased Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit patrols throughout Monroe County. Marine Deputies will be partnering with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officers in patrolling popular sandbars and social areas on the water. Deputies and Officers will additionally be increasing patrols on high traffic days such as Saturday and Sunday.
Deputies and Officers will especially be looking for boaters who are “rafting” multiple vessels together and otherwise ignoring social distancing instructions due to COVID-19.
While residents can still use the boat ramps and have access to the water, they are reminded to use common sense and heed the advice of experts in terms of COVID-19 both ON and OFF the water.
It’s important to note that if people don’t follow instructions regarding social distancing, Monroe County and local municipalities could take further action limiting water access.