The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners voted on June 17 to make facial coverings mandatory throughout Monroe County, effective immediately.
Facial coverings over the nose and mouth must be worn by all employees and all customers in business establishments and other public settings where there is a roof overhead. The ordinance contains applies to employees and customers. The ordinance permits restaurant and bar patrons to remove their masks while seated and eating or drinking and allows those working out in gyms to remove their face coverings while actively exercising, provided there is at least six feet of distance from the next closest person. The ordinance recommends that everyone over six years old carry a mask with them whenever they are away from home and recommends that they wear a mask wherever they come within six feet of another person.
A face covering must cover the nose and mouth and may include a face mask, homemade mask, or other cloth, silk, or linen covering, such as a scarf, bandana, handkerchief, or other similar cloth covering. Medical and surgical face masks, such as "N95" masks, should be reserved for health care personnel and other first responders with the greatest need for such personal protective equipment.
Violation of the ordinance is punishable by fines, but not jail time. Monroe County Code Compliance has established a dedicated hotline number for those who wish to report businesses not in compliance regarding facial coverings with current COVID-19 Monroe County Emergency Directives in unincorporated Monroe County.
The ordinance applies throughout the County, the City of Key West, and other municipalities may adopt ordinances with different requirements. Monroe County Code Compliance will investigate violations in the unincorporated areas of the County while municipal code compliance departments will respond to reports of violations within their jurisdictions.
Code Compliance numbers include:
If after hours, or the weekend, leave a message and the complaint will be addressed the following business day. After hours or weekend issues needing immediate attention, call the Monroe County Sheriff Office Non-Emergency Line at 305-289-2351 for unincorporated Monroe County and Key West Police Department at 305-809-1000 for the City of Key West. Monroe County COVID-19 related information and the new ordinance can be found at www.monroecountyem.com/covid19. The State of Florida’s Executive orders can be found at www.flgov.com.
Please continue to follow social distancing guidelines of 6-feet between others and washing your hands to prevent the spread of this disease.