With summer on the horizon and beaches everywhere in Florida but Miami-Dade reopened, locals will be hitting the road soon. Whether you make it a quickie down to the Keys or drive a little farther north to the white sands of Naples or Palm Beach, the rules of the road still apply. Though with emergency orders varying across counties, taking a day trip from Miami isn’t what it used to be and you’ll need to be informed. If you’re going to journey outside of city limits, here’s what you need to know.
Editor’s note: We’ll update this guide as regulations change, but it’s always wise to check in on city and state guidelines regarding travel before packing up the car and hitting the road.
Will I be able to drive?
Yes, all of Florida state roads and highways are open so, technically you can. However, as of May 30, 2020, Miami-Dade and Broward counties have a strict, nightly curfew from 9pm to 6am.
Can I rent a car?
Yes, car rental companies in Miami are still operating—now with heightened sanitization efforts that change how they clean and disinfect their fleets. Cars can be rented at the airport as well as at stand-alone locations across the county.
What about a train?
The Tri-Rail, South Florida’s regional transportation system, is running on a modified schedule. Trains run about every two hours on weekdays, not including peak times when they run hourly; trains run every three hours on weekends. Tri-Rail, which typically operates a three-car system, added a fourth car to assist with social distancing. Once onboard, passengers are required to wear face coverings and are not allowed to sit in seats that are taped off for spacing.
As of May 20, 2020, Brightline service was still suspended to all destinations: Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
What parts of Florida are open right now?
None are fully open.
Counties north of Miami-Dade have reopened some nonessential businesses, hotels and beaches as part of phase one. Social distancing guidelines apply in all regions and differ across all, too. South of Miami-Dade, the Florida Keys have reopened as of June 1.
Can I go to a theme park?
That depends. While Orlando has always been a popular destination for tourists within the state, not all area theme parks have reopened. Legoland reopened on June 1, while Universal Studios Resort plans to reopen on June 5 and Walt Disney World Resorts begins a phased reopening on July 11.
Can I cross state lines?
Yes, but don’t.
While no state has blocked drivers from passing through, Florida does have interstate restrictions in place. People entering the state from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or Louisiana are required to self-isolate for 14 days or for the duration of their stay—whichever is shorter. Checkpoints are also set up on interstate highways to screen people coming from areas with substantial community spread. Commercial drivers and healthcare workers are not screened.
Also, if you’re driving, remember that Florida rest stops remain open but visitor centers are closed.
Can I go to the beach?
Yes, most of the beaches in Florida are open—except for Miami-Dade. Each county follows a different set of rules, which can be found on their respective websites. Broward, for instance, only began allowing sunbathing as of June 1. Miami-Dade beaches were set to reopen on June 1 with restrictions but that date has since been postponed indefinitely.
And as always, social distancing guidelines must be followed and wearing a mask is required.
What else can I do?
If you’re going to go anywhere, make it somewhere you can keep your distance—preferably outside.
Most parks have reopened across the state, though not all public green spaces are allowing visitors.
Florida State Parks began allowing folks to camp on May 21 as part of a phased reopening plan, though cabins remain closed until June 9. During this initial stage of reopening, capacity will be limited, trails may be affected and hours of operation will be abbreviated.
National parks in Florida have reopened with restrictions.
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