The Texas governor has ordered anyone arriving in the state from the top U.S. coronavirus hotspots to quarantine themselves for 14 days, or to impose criminal sanctions, including jail time.
Governor Greg Abbott issued the executive order on Thursday, saying that anyone arriving at a Texas airport from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey or New Orleans must register with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Those travelers are then instructed to quarantine themselves at a house or hotel for 14 days, and do not allow visitors to visit other than qualified care providers.
Anyone who violates the order will face criminal charges, including a fine of $ 1,000 or 180 days of imprisonment.
Governor Greg Abbott issued the executive order on Thursday, saying that anyone arriving at a Texas airport from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey or New Orleans must register with the Texas Department of Public Safety
Passengers with masks and gloves pass through a terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston earlier this month
Abbott said that DPS agents will be quarantining people and following the order.
“During this period, a quarantined person should not bring visitors inside or outside the designated quarantine site, other than a doctor or health care professional, and should not visit public areas,” Abbott said at a news conference.
“The Tri-State area of New York and the city of New Orleans have become the major centers of this pandemic, and it is vital that we take the necessary precautions to avoid additional exposure that could arise from people moving from these areas to Texas travel, ”he said.
The governor’s order to quarantine himself does not apply to people traveling in connection with military service, emergency assistance, health response, or critical infrastructure functions.
Abbott said the goal of the order is to try to limit the further spread of the coronavirus in Texas. That state now has at least 1,500 confirmed cases and 17 deaths.
A park bench was dropped off in Houston on Wednesday. A residence permit was issued on Tuesday to residents of Houston and Harris County to combat the spread of COVID-19
Traffic in and out of downtown Houston will be brighter than usual on Wednesday. All visitors from tri-state and New Orleans to Texas must now be quarantined for 14 days
New York is now the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, with 37,258 confirmed cases and at least 385 deaths.
New Orleans has seen the fastest growth in the country. The number of cases in Louisiana rose 510 on a single day to 2,300 on Thursday, a 28 percent increase from the night before, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
Abbott’s order follows a similar executive order in Florida that requires all New York travelers self-quarantined for 14 days.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued the order on Tuesday, saying that local law enforcement and the Florida Department of Health would meet people after getting off planes and registering them for self-quarantine.
“Some information will be collected and I think they will do temperature checks,” he said.
On Wednesday, however, it became clear that no strict controls should yet be carried out.
Three people who arrived at Fort Lauderdale airport told the story Sun-Sentinel that their temperature was not controlled.
And there was no visible sign that there was a screening for incoming passengers, they said.
Passengers said that the airline warnings had been distributed by the airlines prior to landing and that they should sign and deposit them in a box at the arrival gate.
However, it was unclear if anyone was watching the boxes, and airlines don’t seem to have the power to force passengers to sign the forms.
The United States is now at the forefront of confirmed coronavirus cases.
According to an ongoing survey by Johns Hopkins University, the number of infected people in the US was 82,000 on Thursday. That is just ahead of the 81,000 cases in China and 80,000 in Italy.
Italy has the most confirmed deaths of any country at over 8,000. More than 1,000 people have died in the United States