Florida Keys welcome back holidaymakers just three weeks after Hurricane Irma

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JUST three weeks after they were hit by Hurricane Irma, the Florida Keys have reopened to visitors.

The island chain was badly impacted by the natural disaster, with holidaymakers advised to stay clear of the area until now.

Florida Keys reopen to visitors after Hurricane Irma

Local officials reopened the region to tourism on Sunday, October 1 after the speedy completion of infrastructure repairs and near total restoration of utilities.

While it is now safe to holiday in the Keys, Brits travelling to the area should be aware that recovery efforts are still ongoing, especially in the Lower Keys and parts of Marathon which were hardest hit by the Category 4 storm.

The districts of Key Largo and Key West were least effected but visitors should call ahead to ensure that hotels and attractions are still open.

Upcoming events including Key Largo’s Humphrey Bogart Film Festival on October 18 to 22 and Key West’s Fantasy Fest on October 20 to 29 will both take place as originally scheduled.

Holidaymakers will find Key West and Marathon airports open as usual, and the Port of Key West hosting cruise ships again.

While tourists on a road trip will be happy to hear that the iconic Florida Keys Overseas Highway has passed inspection and is easily drivable throughout the 125 mile island region.

 Known for its diverse wildlife, the Florida Keys are back on their feet following last month's hurricane

Known for its diverse wildlife, the Florida Keys are back on their feet following last month’s hurricane

Even Key West’s Southernmost Point marker, an iconic photo stop that designates the continental United States’ southernmost land mass, is being repainted after taking a beating from Irma.

Stacey Mitchell, director of marketing for the Florida Keys tourism council said: “By welcoming visitors to the destination, it will provide the jobs and the hope that our residents are looking for so they can begin to rebuild their lives.

 Highway routes into the Florida Keys are now open, although tourists should exercise caution on smaller back roads

Highway routes into the Florida Keys are now open, although tourists should exercise caution on smaller back roads

“It has been a road of recovery and continues to be so, but we’ve made enough progress where the infrastructure is ready to accept visitors.”

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