Florida Keys requiring masks inside businesses through June 2021

For those planning to visit the Florida Keys, make sure to packs your face coverings.

On Wednesday, Monroe County commissioners unanimously voted to make masks mandatory for both employees and customers. Officials said the face coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth inside "business establishments and other public settings where there is a roof overhead."

Some exceptions include removing the face covering while seated to eat and drink in a restaurant or bar, or while exercising in a gym at least six feet away from others. Children under the age of 6 are not required to wear a mask.

The ordinance is in place through June 2021, but is subject to "quarterly review."

Key West was already requiring masks inside businesses.

In early June, county officials voted 3-2 against making masks mandatory, but changed their mind after watching people's behavior, reports WLRN

While the Keys currently has a low number of coronavirus cases, the also have a limited health care capacity with three small hospitals. One of those hospitals, Fishermen's Hospital in Marathon, is a temporary facility and a new building is under construction, according to WLRN.

Spencer Krenke, a member of Masks in Public Project, told commissioners, "Unfortunately, after the last three weeks, just watching what's going on, I don't believe visitors have respect for how fragile and limited our health care community really is."

Commissioners also voted against implementing criminal penalties. Instead, those who are not complying could receive a citation.