Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for Destin Florida and Surrounding Areas
In response to growing concerns of those traveling to areas covered by DestinFlorida.com, we are attempting to share the most recent information about coronavirus closures and safety precautions for Okaloosa County (Ft. Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island, Destin) and Walton County (Miramar Beach, Sandestin, 30A area).
State of Florida:
As of March 17, all Florida bars and nightclubs will be closed for 30 days and restaurants will be restricted to carry out, delivery and half-capacity seating. Most restaurants are staying open to serve the public, requesting patience from patrons in dealing with social distancing measures and other inconveniences. Many food delivery services are offering special discounts to help the effort.
Walmart is operating 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM until further notice.
Most Grocery stores are operating 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM until further notice.
Florida State Parks: All events, activities, special event reservations, pavilion rentals and camping reservations have been canceled, but the parks will remain OPEN from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. as of March 17. Existing overnight camping reservations that begin Wednesday, March 18, will be honored. Visitors must arrive prior to 5 p.m. on March 18, to secure their reservation. After Wednesday, all reservations moving forward will be canceled and refunded. Beginning Friday, March 20, campgrounds and all overnight accommodations will be fully closed.
Florida Department of Health website: www.FloridaHealth.gov/COVID-19
The Okaloosa County Beaches are OPEN as of March 17
Local Health Department website: www.HealthyOkaloosa.com
Okaloosa County: www.co.okaloosa.fl.us
The Walton County Beaches are OPEN as of March 17
County Permits for events of 10 or more people are revoked until the end of April.
Local Health Department website: http://walton.floridahealth.gov/
Walton County: www.co.walton.fl.us
To our Tourism Partners, Council and Committee Members,
This morning the Walton County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that will temporarily close all 26 miles of beach in Walton County to the public in order to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19. Board members struggled with this decision and acknowledged the devastating effects this will have for our local economy and jobs, but voted to pass the measure in hopes of saving lives of locals and visitors.
The action goes into effect immediately, and although owners of private beach still have legal access to their own property, board members are urging them to abide by the spirit of safety and caution they are putting forth county-wide.
The Walton County TDC will begin spreading this message immediately, and physically closing all beach accesses early tomorrow morning. The Walton County Sheriff’s Office has stated that they will be pushing for voluntary compliance, and pursuing an education-first response strategy.
These are unprecedented actions, and unprecedented times. We must stand together, and prepare to once again welcome visitors and the lifeblood that tourism brings to our economy as soon as conditions allow us to do so.
We are all in this together, and we are committed to help partner in any way that we can.
Jay Tusa, CDME, CTIS, TMP
Walton County TDC
Seaside Resort Community:
Beach access points are closed. Spring events are cancelled. Commercial area will close Saturday 3/21/2020 at Noon. Food and Beverage merchants may remain open in accordance with State of Florida restrictions outlined above.
It is always best to liberally use surface disinfectants while traveling at any time. You can find a list of COVID-19 approved products here: www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/sars-cov-2-list_03-03-2020.pdf
Federal Coronavirus safety guidelines can be found here:
We try to be accurate and informative, but the situation is fluid. Please research via the links above and other resources to determine the best personal plan of action. We wish you safe and happy travels.