NEW ORLEANS — To try and stop the spread of coronavirus, state leaders from around the country are taking a hard look at ways to keep folks who live in areas with high growth rates, like New Orleans, from spending too much time, if any at all, in their respective states.
The first state to restrict travel is Texas, where Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order Thursday, requiring anyone traveling to the Lone Star state through a New Orleans airport, be quarantined for 14 days, or the duration of their visit, whichever is shorter.
“During the quarantine period the person shall not allow visitors into or out of the designated quarantine location other than a physician or health care provider and shall not visit public spaces,” said Governor Abbott.
Friday afternoon, the state of Florida laid out restrictions as well. Governor Ron DeSantis, wants Louisianans, especially those from New Orleans to pump the breaks on traveling to the Sunshine State.
“There’s a fear that as New Orleans becomes more of a hotspot that you could have an influx of people into the Florida Panhandle from Louisiana,” said Governor DeSantis.
Taking it a step further than just air travel, Governor DeSantis authorized state police to set up checkpoints looking for Louisiana drivers, who will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
“This is just a way to make sure that we’re keeping people safe. Some of these areas, I mean, New Orleans has obviously got a lot of problems, it may not be quite as widespread as New York City, but I think there was a concern in the panhandle that this could impact them,” said Governor DeSantis.
With a stay at home order currently in effect for Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards said folks shouldn’t be traveling anyway, and his concern isn’t on those restrictions but rather what’s happening at home.
“I am encouraging people from Louisiana to stay home, so I think that it should be a small number of people on the road who are going into Texas or going in to Florida,” said Governor Edwards.
Other states and cities, like the New York area, are also part of these restrictions from Texas and Florida. Anyone caught in violation of self-isolation requirements could be charged with misdemeanors.