SANTA ROSA COUNTY COVID-19 UPDATE

Date: March 30, 2020

Your health and safety is our top priority and the Santa Rosa County Tourism Office is working with public health officials to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and guidelines with regard to COVID-19.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not recommended a blanket limit on domestic travel for the general population, Santa Rosa County is taking steps to mitigate the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. This includes beach closures, event cancellations and more. Please see the full list below.

For those still traveling to our area, the CDC and Florida Department of Health encourage the same personal best practices that are standard for a typical flu season – frequent washing of hands, use of sanitizing wipes, consulting with a doctor before traveling when sick, and staying up to date on vaccinations, etc. We will continue to follow the guidance offered by the CDC, as well as those provided by state and local public health authorities. 

The Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Office is actively monitoring COVID-19 reports from the CDC as well as the FDOH, and will pass pertinent information as it becomes available via this page.

Below are responses to some frequently asked questions:

  • Are beaches open? No, all Santa Rosa County beaches and the fishing pier are closed as of March 21, 2020. This includes the Gulf Islands National Seashore.
  • Are Blackwater River and Coldwater Creek still open? Please note, this could change, check back frequently.
  • Are parks open? Yes, most Santa Rosa County parks are open at this time for use adhering to latest health guidelines. CLOSURE: The Santa Rosa areas of the Gulf Islands National Seashore are closed until further notice. This includes the Opal Beach complex and Highway 399 between Navarre Beach and Pensacola Beach. Please note, this could change, check back frequently.
  • Are hotels open? Yes, most Santa Rosa County accommodations are open at this time. Please note, this could change, please reach out directly to individual properties.
  • Are campgrounds open? Some Closures: Most campgrounds are open at this time. CLOSURE: All campgrounds in Blackwater River State Forest will be closed for 30 days effective March 20 as well as Clear Creek Off-Highway Vehicle Riding Area and Krul Lake Recreation Area. Please note, this could change, check back frequently.
  • Are restaurants open? Some closures: Most restaurants are open at this time, but are restricted to curbside pickup or delivery, starting March 21, 2020.
  • Are gyms and fitness centers open? No. On Friday, March 20, Florida Governor DeSantis announced that all gyms and fitness centers would close throughout the state.
  • Are the boat ramps open? Yes, but to select travelers/residents only (see below) and parking will be limited. The Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office will set up a checkpoint near the pier entrance (past the boat ramp entrance) to ensure access is granted only to those who:
    • are residents.
    • are current guests of a hotel.
    • are renting a condominium or home.
    • own a business or are conducting business (service and delivery persons).
    • who are met at the checkpoint by a resident or a guest currently staying on the beach.

Closures + Cancellations

  • All bars closed per state of Florida emergency guidelines – 30 days from March 17, 2020
  • Juana’s Pagodas and Sailors’ Grill – closed until further notice
  • Bands on the Blackwater, March thru May – postponed: date TBD
  • Spring Break camps Marine Science Station – cancelled
  • Ye Olde Brothers Brewery 2nd Annual Craft Beerfest – cancelled
  • SpringJam 2020 – rescheduled: October 11, 2020
  • Gulf Breeze Celebrates the Arts Festival, March 28-29 – cancelled
  • Siege of Pensacola at Bagdad Mill Site Park, April 3 & 4 – cancelled
  • Spring Festival of Flowers, April 3-5 – cancelled
  • Seas the Day, April 4 – postponed: date TBD
  • Autism OdysSea, April 17 – postponed: date TBD
  • Native Ways Festival, April 18-19 – postponed: date TBD
  • As of March 20, 2020, all campgrounds in Blackwater River State Forest are closed
  • As of midnight, March 21, 2020, all beaches in Santa Rosa County are closed
  • As of midnight, March 21, 2020, all restaurants will be curbside pickup and delivery only
  • As of midnight, March 21, 2020, boat ramps are closed to the public and only open to residents, business owners and those conducting business (service and delivery persons), current guests of a hotel, are renting a condominium or home and those who are met at the checkpoint by a resident of a guest currently staying on the beach
  • For all community event cancellations/postponements, please click here.

Should you have questions about COVID-19 and your ability to travel, the Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 call center, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 1 (866) 779-6121. Questions can also be emailed to COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

Travel Industry Resources

Destinations International

U.S. Travel Association – COVID-19 Toolkit

Santa Rosa County Emergency Management

Florida State Emergency Bridge Loan Program for Small Businesses

Santa Rosa Ready