Tourism officials in Key West report that they expect the destination to reopen to tourism by Friday, October 20, following damage the island sustained from Hurricane Irma.
According to the latest update from the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the reopening date will coincide with the start of the Fantasy Fest annual costume and masking festival.
Residents and business owners were permitted back into the Upper Keys Tuesday and the remaining Keys areas on Sunday, according to the council, and visitors have been asked to postpone any near-term vacation plans in the area. An exact reopening date for all regions is not yet known.
Royal Caribbean likewise reports that the government of Key West has told them that they expect to be open to tourism by October 20. The cruise line said it will stay closely connected with local authorities and continue to provide updates. For the cruise line’s Empress of the Seas sailings departing September 23 and 27, as well as October 2, 7 and 11, the planned call at Key West will be swapped with a sea day. Guests who choose not to sail on these itineraries will receive a 100 percent future cruise credit on bookings made within the next year.
Both of the airports in the Florida Keys are available for aircraft, but commercial service to Key West International Airport remains suspended until electricity and water have been restored. The airports are currently being used as incoming staging areas for relief supplies and personnel.