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Key West reopens parks and beaches after 6-week shutdown because of pandemic

While the Florida Keys remain closed to visitors, Key West has reopened parks, beaches and recreation facilities for those who live there.
Credit: AP
In this February 2012 photo, a tourist poses for a pictures at the monument marking the continental states’ southernmost point in Key West, Fla. (AP Photo/Glenn Adams)

KEY WEST, Fla. — The Florida Keys is closed to visitors, but Key West announced Monday it has reopened parks, beaches and recreation facilities to those who live on the island.

Much of the Keys has been shut down for more than a month because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

"Although we are currently under a restrictive order as it pertains to businesses, we do understand the need to begin to allow our residents to resume some sense of normalcy while exercising personal responsibility and social distancing," City Manager Greg Veliz said in a letter on Facebook.

Veliz noted that playgrounds and water features will remain closed for now. 

The city also said it anticipates "that we will soon have the ability to lift the closure of non-essential businesses" as it monitors more announcements from Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

A Letter from City Manager Greg Veliz: For the past couple of weeks,... the City of Key West has been working with local businesses to develop an outlook for our resilient recovery. Often, although staff is working feverishly, we fall short in relaying these efforts to our citizens.

RELATED: What Florida beaches are open? A county-by-county list

RELATED: Florida Keys will be closed until at least June, commissioners say

As of Monday, Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, reported 79 cases of coronavirus. Last week, county commissioners said they do not anticipate the Florida Keys being open to visitors in May. 

"Not allowing visitors back to the Florida Keys will still be in place throughout May, and potentially longer given the state of the virus," commissioners announced on Facebook.

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