[Video courtesy Florida Keys News Bureau, Friday March 27, 2020, Day 1 of US 1 southbound traffic stops – barring visitors entry to the Florida Keys]
Following confusion over whether or not traffic checkpoints, set up just last Friday, could continue past Sunday, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe County, and the municipalities have partnered to continue to keep them in operation 24-hours a day.
The checkpoints are located at mile marker 112.5 on the 18-Mile Stretch (US 1) and on Card Sound Road (905) and were put in place to reinforce Monroe County’s closure to visitors and non-residents. Due to heightened concerns of COVID-19, only residents, property owners, and those actively involved in work in the Florida Keys are being admitted, including fuel tankers, delivery and grocery trucks.
According to Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, 788 cars were turned around in the first 48 hours, and an estimated 2,000 people. Before the checkpoint started on Friday morning, the Florida Department of Transportation traffic counters were about 47-49 percent of average traffic flow for this time of year. Since the checkpoint was enacted, the traffic counters are at 23-26 percent of the average traffic flow for this time of year.
Proof of residency can be demonstrated with a resident reentry sticker, or a hard copy of local identification, utility bill, deed, lease or tax bill. Those actively engaged in work in the Florida Keys, such as construction workers, will need to show a hard copy of a letter from their employer, employee identification, a paystub, or current construction contract in the Keys. First responders, healthcare workers and military actively engaged in work in the Keys will need physical ID as well.
Re-entry stickers: We will update this page tomorrow with a list of locations where re-entry stickers can be obtained.
Remember that delays are possible at checkpoints and officials advise not to call 911 with non-emergency questions about U.S. 1.
Go to www.monroecountyem.com/covid-19 for more information about Monroe County’s response to COVID-19.
Monroe County Emergency Management information hotline at 800-955-5504 is also operational all week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.