TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WWSB/News Service of Florida) - Governor Ron DeSantis is taking additional action against travelers from coronavirus “hotspots.”
Monday, the governor signed an executive order directing the Florida Department of Health to require travelers from the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York) to self-isolate for 14 days after flying into Florida airports. Violators, DeSantis said, could be charged criminally.
But one day later, DeSantis expanded on that.
The governor said that coronavirus has been circulating in New York State for three to four weeks. His superseding order requires anyone who is traveling to Florida from New York or has traveled to Florida from New York in the past three weeks to self-isolate and also notify anyone they had close contact with in Florida.
“There’s over 190 direct flights from the New York City area to the state of Florida, and I would reckon given the outbreak there, that every single flight has somebody on it who is positive for COVID-19,” DeSantis said. “And so as we are working to stop it in the state of Florida, you’re consistently having people come in from one of the top hotspots in the entire world. We don’t have people coming from Wuhan (China), we don’t have people coming from Milan (Italy), yet you have a flood of people still coming from New York City.”
DeSantis says members of the National Guard are located at Florida’s major airports informing incoming travelers of both orders and guidance will be provided for smaller airports in the coming days.
The governor says also Tuesday, the state’s surgeon general will be recommending to all those 65-years old or older to stay at home for the next 14 days to minimize their exposure to the virus.