Florida Asked All Arriving International Travelers To Self-Quarantine, Then Changed Their Minds

In total 267 coronavirus tests have been administered in Florida.

  • 140 people have been cleared (no coronavirus)
  • 115 cases are pending (no result yet)
  • 12 have tested positive

Of the twelve, 8 had traveled internationally in recent weeks. Ten of the twelve are over 60 (in parts of the state residents skew older). 302 people, who may have come into contact with the virus, are being monitored.

Florida health officials asked all arriving international travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days before backing off of that suggestion.

Florida health officials Monday afternoon clarified a misleading travel advisory, saying that only people who visited certain countries should self-isolate upon returning to the state.

The Department of Health had earlier said anyone who traveled abroad was advised to quarantine themselves for 14 days, which would have gone beyond guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This recommendation once again applies only to people who have been in (or in contact with people arriving from) Italy, China, Iran and South Korea.

For others who have been on cruises or in ‘level 2 countries’ the recommendation is to “[m]onitor your health and limit interactions with others for 14 days” and then only if you “become symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and contact your county health department or health care provider.”

As of this writing Japan is level 2 even though France and Germany now have over 1000 confirmed cases, and Spain has nearly 1000. Of course the U.S., at over 600, currently has more confirmed cases than Japan – with numbers expected to rise as testing is only recently getting underway in earnest.

Miami is a primary gateway for flights to and from Latin America, where there are relatively far fewer cases so it seems odd to have treated arriving off a flight from Colombia or Panama ito be a risk factor.

Self-quarantine for individuals with medium risk of infection isn’t total isolation. It means staying home from work, avoiding travel distancing from gatherings, and checking temperature twice daily to identify possible fever. It also means being aware of coughing and breathing difficulties.

For now, in several jurisdictions, health officials are checking on self-quarantined individuals daily. That’s unlikely to last as the number of cases grows. One thing they find is that not everyone asked to self-quarantine is doing so.

This is not good. By the way the woman who tested positive flew into Chicago O’Hare and took Amtrak to St. Louis.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Most vacations and business trips are less than 14 days in length, so a 14 day quarantine would make the trip pointless.

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