WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A decree by Gov. Ron DeSantis requiring anyone arriving on a flight from New York City and the surrounding area to self-quarantine for two weeks took effect Tuesday.
In issuing Executive Order 20-80, DeSantis cited "an increase in individuals fleeing to Florida" from states like New York, where "shelter-in-place" orders are already in place because of the coronavirus crisis.
DeSantis also referenced a recent incident in which a passenger on a JetBlue flight from New York traveled to Palm Beach International Airport, even after learning he had tested positive for COVID-19.
The governor's executive order specifies who must quarantine, who is exempt and for how long.
What does Executive Order 20-80 say?
- All people traveling to Florida airports from Connecticut, New Jersey and New York are required "to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry" or "the duration of the person's presence" in the state, "whichever is shorter."
- "This order shall not apply to persons employed by the airlines and those performing military, emergency or health response."
- Anyone in self-quarantine "shall be responsible for all costs associated with that person's isolation or quarantine, including transportation, lodging, food, medical care and any other expenses" during that period.
- The Florida Department of Health "shall take any steps necessary to ensure the screening and appropriate isolation and quarantine of individuals covered by this order."
- Florida health officials are directed to coordinate with the Florida Division of Emergency Management, county and local governments and law enforcement agencies "to effectuate the isolation or quarantine outlined above."
- Anyone who violates the order is subject to a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.
"That's the only way we can be sure that that virus is not going to be reintroduced in the state of Florida," DeSantis said Monday.
The order is in effect until the state of emergency in Florida has been lifted.