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COVID-19 FAQs for Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida places the highest priority on the health and safety of our residents and visitors. We are committed to consistently providing you with the most up-to-date information on the status of our businesses and attractions as the situation evolves. We will continue to update this page as new information and guidelines become available and work alongside our local leadership, including the Okaloosa County Health Department, to keep all well-informed and safe. ​

Is the destination on any sort of curfew or restrictions?

There are currently no travel advisories or curfews in place for Destin-Fort Walton Beach. On Friday, June 5th the state of Florida will enter into Phase II of the Governor’s “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan'' to re-open. Vulnerable individuals should continue to avoid close contact with people outside the home, and everyone is advised to continue maximizing physical distance from others. 

Are the beaches + parks closed?

Okaloosa County and Destin beaches are now open from dawn until dusk. This includes public and private beaches; restrooms; beach accessways; parking areas solely for accessing beaches; county and city beachfront parks; trails; Marler Park; and the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier. The Okaloosa area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore has also re-opened as has Henderson Beach State Park’s beach access and parking.

    Henderson Beach State Park's day-use areas are at 50% capacity, and camping sites are open to advance registrations - no walk-up reservation will be accepted. 

Eglin Air Force off-base beaches have also re-opened under the following guidelines, with the exception of the East Pass access point.
    ​Princess Beach, Matterhorn and White Point are open for normal operations from dawn to dusk.
    Eglin Beach Park will open at 10 a.m. Parking is $5 at the gate with credit card payments only. Beach park hours of operation are Monday-Sunday from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
    Beach park pavilion reservations will not be accepted at this time. Rental equipment will also not be available at this time.

Are vacation rentals impacted?

Short-term vacation rentals are approved to welcome back guests. They can do so by following safety guidelines in favor of public health and safe vacations.

    As we enter Phase II of Florida's reopening, visitors from Louisiana are welcome with no quarantine restrictions. Those traveling from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are still required to isolate for a period of 14 days, or for the duration of their visit.

Hotels, motels and inns remain open. For specifics on how an individual property may have modified procedures and operations in place we recommend contacting your accommodations directly. 

Are roadways + airports impacted?

Per the Governor’s Executive Order, there is a roadside checkpoint on I-95 to screen for potential COVID-19 cases arriving from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Motorists are required to isolate for a period of 14 days upon entry to Florida or for the duration of their visit. When a traveler arrives, each passenger or responsible family member (if traveling as a family) will be required to complete a traveler form with key information, including each traveler’s contact information and trip details. Failure to complete the form and follow any isolation or quarantine order from DOH are violations of Florida law. 

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect toll collectors, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) will temporarily not accept cash as a form of payment for tolls including the Mid-Bay Toll Bridge. Tolls will still be required, but they will be collected either via SunPass or toll-by-plate. Administrative fees are waived at this time.

At this time, the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) is operating as normal. However, given COVID-19’s impact on the industry and individual carriers, we recommend you continue to check directly with the airline. 

    All visitors arriving by plane from the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York), must enter a period of quarantine for 14 days from the time of entry, or for the duration of their stay, whichever is shorter.

Are restaurants and bars closed?

Yes, restaurants are operating at 50% capacity within their dining rooms and offering outdoor seating with tables spaced six feet apart. 

On Friday, June 26th, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) suspended the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premise consumption at bars, which are defined as businesses who derive more than 50% of their gross revenue from alcoholic sales.

A number of local restaurants have been offering curbside pickup and delivery services and will continue to do so. For a list of area restaurant re-openings, click here. 

Are attractions and activities closed?

Local activities and attractions, such as fishing charters, dolphin tours, retail stores, and water sports rental locations are open. For a list of area attractions + activities that are re-opened, click here.

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