Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis orders air travelers from New York City area to self-isolate

Posted at 2:17 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 16:02:44-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is issuing new mandates for travelers flying from coronavirus hot spots like New York and New Jersey to the Sunshine State.

"You have folks now coming from the hottest of the hot zones, filtering out into the United States. So we're doing something about that in Florida," the governor said on Tuesday in Tallahassee.

DeSantis is issuing an executive order that will require anyone traveling by airplane from the New York City area to Florida, or anyone who's traveled to Florida from that area in the last three weeks to self-isolate for 14 days.

In addition, they need to report if they've had any contact with people in Florida.

"Mainly notifying the people they've been in contact with," the governor said. "You may have had someone who got back 10 days ago, maybe they've not shown symptoms but they could be infected."


FULL NEWS CONFERENCE: Gov. Ron DeSantis issues new travel restrictions


The new mandate is an expansion of an executive order regarding air travel that DeSantis issued on Monday.

That order requires anyone who travels to Florida by airplane from New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut to self-isolate for 14 days "from the time of entry into the State of Florida or the duration of the person's presence in the State of Florida, whichever is shorter."

The Florida National Guard is now assisting with health screenings on travelers from the New York City area at airports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville.

"When the individuals come in, they're asked to provide information to the Guardsmen. They receive the information about what they need to do in order to self-isolate. They have contact information on who they need to contact should they be symptomatic," Gov. DeSantis said.

Also on Tuesday, the governor said Florida's Surgeon General will issue a health advisory encouraging anyone who's 65 or older to stay at home for 14 days.

"The folks who are 65 and plus are the ones that have the best chance to suffer a negative outcome," DeSantis said.

According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are more than 1,400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, along with 18 deaths.

Here are the cases in our viewing area:

  • Palm Beach County: 101
  • Martin County: 4
  • St. Lucie County: 6
  • Indian River County: 11
  • Okeechobee County: 0

On Monday, Gov. DeSantis said he has no plans to issue a statewide stay-at-home order at this point, saying it's not clear that a massive shutdown would even work.

Instead, the governor argued it would put hundreds of thousands of Floridians out of work.

"You're throwing their lives into potential disarray," DeSantis said on Monday. "If you look at Florida's situation right now, this is not a virus that's impacting every corner of the state."

For the latest information about coronavirus cases in Florida, click here.