Florida now screens travelers from the New York City area and Louisiana “hotspots” both at highway roadblocks and at airports, as reported by Fox News. Fox News reported that they are “threatening them with 60 days in jail if they don’t self-quarantine as the number of confirmed cases in the state peaks to over 4,200” – as Gov. Ron DeSantis has so far refused to issue a statewide stay-at-home order.
The governor has identified New York and Louisiana as “hot spots” for community spread. On Saturday, the governor ordered a two-week halt on all vacation rentals in Florida.
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Complete update: Coronavirus in Florida: DeSantis halts vacation rentals, sets up checkpoints https://t.co/3WYfJgCS6S
— Jeffrey Schweers (@jeffschweers) March 27, 2020
“I think it’s in everybody’s interest that we deal with the spread that we have here now, try to blunt it, flatten the curve, but we don’t allow importing new infections,” the governor said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
According to Fox News, those traveling on flights from “New York, New Jersey or Connecticut – as well as Louisiana, will be met by National Guard troops and public health officials at major Florida airports.” The governor also ordered highway checkpoints for traffic from Louisiana that enters the state on Interstate 10 and on Interstate 95.
People must declare where they are traveling from. They will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Florida. Otherwise, they will spend 60 days in jail.
DeSantis asked Dr. Scott Rivkees, the Florida surgeon general, to send public health alerts via text message to advise people 65 and older and those with underlying medical conditions to stay at home.