Hawaii and Alaska moved to quarantine arriving passengers for 14 days and Florida announced much weaker rules for passengers taking non-stop flights into the state from New York or New Jersey.
Now Texas has become the latest state to impose restrictions on arriving airline passengers.
- Applies to passengers flying to Texas from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or New Orleans
- Goes into effect Noon central time on Saturday
- Requires mandatory 14 day self-quarantine
- Military, emergency, health and critical infrastructure travel “determined by the Texas Division of Emergency Management” will be exempt
When passengers arrive off of a flight from one of these locations they will be required to fill out a form with their identifying information and where they will quarantine. (Presumably the state will not ‘catch’ people arriving into the state on connecting flights from – say – Atlanta, Charlotte, or Phoenix.)
Texas Governor Greg Abbot said that the state’s “Department of Public Safety troopers will conduct visits to those designated quarantine locations to verify compliance with this executive order” and that failure to comply is a criminal offense subject to a $1000 fine, 180 days in jail, or both.
During the 14 day quarantine – “or the length of the person’s trip if shorter” suggesting someone deemed necessary to quarantine would be permitted to freely return to the airport — passengers could be visited only by health care providers.
The Governor said the order could be expanded, and would likely then include California and Washington State. I’m expecting to see more states impose similar orders, and to have those orders lifted at various times as the severity of the virus in any given location ebbs and flows. Once a state recovers from the virus they’ll be strongly incentivized to impose limits on inbound passenger traffic as well.