Governor Ron DeSantis is concerned that too many people are coming from major COVID-19 hotspots and bringing the virus to Florida with them. The federal government has not put any domestic travel or flight restrictions into place, and over 190 flights come from the New York area to Florida every day.
Effective today March 24, DeSantis issued an executive order which requires those who travel to Florida from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to self-isolate for 14 days upon entering Florida. Staying with friends or family members does not count as self-isolation.
During the briefing DeSantis said these flights are bringing people who would likely test positive for COVID-19. New York is considered the epicenter for COVID-19 in the United States.
Travelers will be met by law enforcement and health officials on their flights to conduct temperature checks.
A shelter-in-place order has been given there and many people there are eager to leave and come to Florida, according to DeSantis. Many people from New York arrive at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Anyone who violates the order could face a misdemeanor charge and if found guilty could face prison time.
At this time, Desantis is holding off on issuing a shelter-in-place order for Florida.
Also, DeSantis sent a letter to President Donald Trump formally requesting a Major Disaster as Florida responds COVID-19. The letter requested the inclusion of the following Individual Assistance Programs in the declaration: Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling, Community Disaster Loans and the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Program. It is submitted in response for the incident period beginning January 20, 2020 for all 67 Florida counties. It also requests additional resources and support from FEMA.