New Restrictions On Domestic Travelers: Florida Enforcing Quarantine On Arriving New Yorkers

The Governor of Florida – who wouldn’t close the beaches during spring break, and is not planning a ‘shelter in place order’ restricting residents’ movements – is imposing a mandatory 14 day quarantine on anyone flying into the state from New York.

His position – outlined while at The Villages retirement community – is that New Yorkers have fled to Florida to avoid the state’s restrictions, and with “over 190 direct flights from the New York City area to Florida…every single flight has someone on it that is positive for COVID-19.”

Since the “federal government had not put any domestic travel restrictions into place, Florida would take the initiative.” His order applies to air travel from New Jersey as well. It does not, apparently, apply to passengers arriving from the New York area on connecting flights. It also does not apply to flights from Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Seattle.

If the federal government is not going to do any restrictions on domestic flights, what we’re going to do in Florida, and I’ll be issuing an executive order, anybody traveling from that region, New York, New Jersey, is going to have to do a mandatory 14-day self-isolation..that’s the only way we can be sure that the virus is not going to be reintroduced into Florida and spread.

We’re told to expect law enforcement and health officials meeting inbound aircraft “to conduct temperature checks” and instructing passengers to self-quarantine and that “staying with family – that’s not self-quarantining.”

Last week I wrote to expect domestic travel restrictions though they tend to make more sense for places where the virus is currently contained (to prevent people entering with it and starting a second wave).

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. The state that wont close its own beaches for spring break is telling us that they need to keep safe.

  2. What would you expect from the Governor of Florida but being the ultimate “Florida Man”?
    Full disclosure, 8 year Florida resident (but not in The Villages, that place is just creepy)

  3. United States Census, Quick Facts Florida, estimates that 20.5% of Florida’s 21.1 million residents are 65+, which is the high risk category for coronavirus.

    No other comment.

  4. Republicans are just SO SO dumb – seriously:
    ” It does not, apparently, apply to passengers arriving from the New York area on connecting flights.”

  5. I thought you were joking, and this would have a punchline, but I guess sadly that this Republican governor is not in this with us. “We’re all in this together” should be replaced with “Every Man For Himself”. Sad. Blaming their own homegrown Floridians’ spread of viruses on New Yorkers is nothing more than a way to rationalize failing to prepare, and failing what he needed to do (shut down the party scene). What a disgusting guy they’ve elected…… [Note: I am neither Floridian nor New Yorker]

  6. @ Gary — Donald Trump is an idiot. I can’t say anything else after watching his moronic press conference today.

  7. Will you leftists please stop politicizing the virus? You people are shameless. First you complained Trump was going too far, then not far enough, and now this incoherent argument against quarantining arrivals from NY.

    Fact check: Most of the beaches in Florida have been closed for days, while the others had orders for social distancing in place…and today all have been shut down.

    So are you still really against quarantining arrivals from a hot spot area, given that the beaches are closed (though that was completely irrelevant anyway)?

  8. I take it quarantining “anyone” flying from NY, NJ, or CT excludes air crew who could be as infected as anyone else. That is if airlines continue to fly those routes. And how about folks who drive or fly?

  9. Trump prioritizes the economy over fighting the virus for political reasons. That is politicizing the virus at the expense of public health.

  10. If you ignore the TDS, DeSantis’s actions are entirely reasonable and rational. New York, which may be on its way to being our own Wuhan or Lombardy, has basically put its population on house arrest. Understandably, many of the people don’t like that and want to leave. Given the weather and family connections, many of the elite are packing their bags and heading to Florida. A reasonable strategy for them, and a terrible strategy for Florida. They will bring this disease to their family and friends whom they stay with, and to the general Florida population. If DeSantis did not take this action — or even more severe measures — he would be a fool.

  11. @ WR2 — Trust me, I have been unwavering in my assessment that Trump is an idiot for fours years now.

  12. Welp who could have expected anything but another half measure from the half-baked leadership of that state. Keep those beaches open Governor! You’re doing a great job.

  13. DeSantis is a fool if he thinks an air travel ban on NY, NJ and CT will prevent spread of Covid-19 in FL. Someone tried that with restricting then banning travel from China and said the virus was under control. To take a line from The Hunt For Red October, in America people drive state to state – no papers. Coronavirus is countrywide. The prevalence of the virus in many states is unknown because of the lack of testing. Travel restrictions within the US may or may not be a good idea at some point, but to be effective any such restrictions would have to be more extensive than three states.

  14. If they do not open up New York City soon, New York City is in for a world of hurt. On the other hand, if they open it up in a week or so, the coronavirus is likely to spread. Hobson’s choice. I think this is Governor Cuomo’s call. I will just wait and see what happens.

  15. @ john — Most of the NYC elite are not going to get into their car and drive 20 hours to Florida. They will go the airport and catch a flight. It’s a pretty simple 3rd grade math problem here: the more New Yorkers who head to Florida, the more corona in Florida. And the more deaths in Florida. Not rocket science.
    This whole matter is likely to be moot pretty quickly though, as we seem to be nearing a partial shutdown of the USA airline industry. There’s no real demand anyway. Look for it to start happening in the next few days. Hopefully, it will only last a few weeks.

  16. Just want to point out, both Broward and Miami-Dade have closed their beaches before Spring Break was over. In fact Miami’s mayor ordered the beaches closed more than a week ago and declared Spring Break is Done!
    On top of that, all lodging establishments were ordered to shut down with restrictive exemptions. Bars were ordered to close a week ago. Restaurants soon followed.

    Last weekend there were a bunch of boating idiots gathered at a Miami Dade county beach completely violating the social distancing guideline. As a result, Miami shut down all marinas and the fueling stations for boats except for exempted vessels.

    People who have no factual knowledge on what is going on there, better stop making all sorts of political comments.

    The big issue is, How the law enforcement to enforce the order?

    Look at NYC – those crowds in Central Park the past weekend, were downright scary in the face of close to 20K confirmed cases.

  17. The Florida governor is making the right call although I feel all of the NYC metro area should be completely quarantined. The biggest hotspots are NYC, parts of California and parts of Washington State. An absolute quarantine for 60 days would guarantee that if the rest of the country stayed home for 14 days, they could go back to work quickly as long as they continue to practice safety measures and did not have any big gatherings. I feel that because these are the most liberal cities and states in the country there is not a call from the media and many politicians to take this action even though we all know it is necessary. If we can stop people egressing from these big cities and their surrounding suburbs, we could contain the virus. I myself live in NYC and it is a sensible move. I am staying put at home so it wouldn’t affect me in any way. People in nyc shouldn’t be spreading this deadly virus by traveling outside of NY.

  18. @OJS, Agreed. The more people with infections travel or interact with others the more infections there will be and the greater the number of hospitalizations and deaths. That is the argument for shutting down all nonessential travel, work and socialization period. It’s not rocket science. Trump doesn’t get it, doesn’t care relative to the stock market, or both. Incidentally, I think relaxing restrictions now will backfire on the economy. Hong Kong is an example of what happens when governments let down their guard.

  19. @John. I agree with everything you said except “Trump doesn’t get it, doesn’t care relative to the stock market, or both.” Now, this is not your liberal conceit. It is the liberal conceit of the New York Times (dog) and the mainstream media (tail to the dog), to pretend they are mind readers. They put words and nasty intentions into Trump’s mind. Then next week, they put different words and nasty intentions into his brain because the conditions on the ground have changed. As a smart individual, you should see the bias, and adjust for it. Does not mean you have to like Trump, just stop being a mind reader.

    What is in my mind when I am not posting here: If you quoted the Paul Simon song Kodachrome: “If you took all the girls I knew….And brought them all together for one night I know they’d never match my sweet imagination.” It would not be far from the truth. [LOL: probably broke some rule of political correctness with this paragraph.]

  20. Alaska’s governor just did the same thing, to all incoming travelers-any person coming into the state must go into 14 day quarantine-the penalty is $25,000 and up to one year in jail

  21. @ojs Chump sticks his foot in his mouth every time he tweets or stands before a mike. I thought Fox was his main apologist but you”re right up there.

  22. @Susan Quay, Really not the same thing. Alaska Governor’s response and Hawaii Governor’s response make sense if closing borders makes sense (no judgement either way) because they actually can and are closing their borders and they don’t care where the next hotspot is going to be, they are protecting against all of them, present and future. Florida governor is stopping only people flying directly from two or three states, not people from where the next hotspot might be and not people who are arriving by any means other than direct flights. It is entirely useless and may even be harmful if Floridians think that they are protected by it.
    Having said that, probably will make no difference because I suspect if Florida ever gets their act together and does a decent job of testing, they will find out that they actually already are the next hotspot.

  23. I imagine FL is already a hot spot, and this will make no difference. They just haven’t done the high level of testing like NY.

  24. Gene and Fred liberal idiots bringing our President and politics into everything..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Looks like the Gov. of Hawaii did something very similar. Won’t something like this effectively shut down tourist travel to Hawaii. Who is going to want to go to HI and then have to spend the next 14 days in their hotel room.

    From US News and World Reports – 03/23/2020
    BEGINNING MARCH 26, everyone traveling to Hawaii must self-quarantine for 14 days, according to a recent emergency proclamation signed by Hawaii Gov. David Ige.

    The order applies both to Hawaii residents returning to the state and visitors, and those who violate it face a misdemeanor charge punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000 and/or up to a year of imprisonment, according to the Democratic governor’s office.

    “With the majority of Hawaiʻi’s COVID-19 cases linked to travel, it is critical that we further mitigate the spread of the virus by both residents and visitors who are coming from out-of-state,” Ige said. “This plan was developed in collaboration with our county mayors and Hawaiʻi’s business, community and visitor industry leaders.”

  26. does This rule apply to the flight attendants as well, or are they exempt and basically allowed to freely spread the virus without any quarantine?

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