Jerseyans flying to Florida face mandatory 14-day self-quarantine

By ROI-NJ Staff
New Jersey | Mar 24, 2020 at 2:11 pm

In case you’re scoring at home, here’s the rundown: New Jersey kids partying on the beach in Florida for spring break? All good. Jersey residents going to Florida homes? There’s a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who was criticized for leaving social distancing rules at beaches to local authorities, issued an executive order Monday mandating a 14-day isolation period for travelers coming to Florida from New Jersey — as well as New York and Connecticut.

It is believed to be the first time a state has put in specific coronavirus restrictions for those coming from another state or area of the country. The order took effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

DeSantis, at a news conference Monday, said there were more than 190 daily flights from this area.

“I would reckon, given the outbreak there, that every single flight has somebody on it who’s positive for COVID-19,” he said.

It is unclear how the state would enforce the order — or whether it’s constitutionally allowed.

DeSantis said travelers will be met on board of the planes by law enforcement and personnel from the state’s Department of Health. The order said violators could face a fine or jail time.

DeSantis said the self-quarantine is required even when staying with friends and family.

Here is part of the order:

Section 1. A: I hereby direct all persons whose point of departure originates from outside the state of Florida in an area with substantial community spread, to include the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York), and entering the state of Florida through airports to isolate or quarantine for a period of 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. This order shall not apply to persons employed by the airlines and those performing military, emergency or health response.

This order shall take effect on March 24, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. All persons isolating or quarantining under this Section, shall be responsible for all costs associated with that person’s isolation or quarantine, including transportation, lodging, food, medical care and any other expenses to sustain the person during the period of isolation or quarantine.

Section 1. B: I hereby direct the Florida Department of Health, pursuant to section 381.00315(5), Florida Statutes, to immediately apply existing rules adopted pursuant to that section. 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.

Section 1. E: Any person who violates any isolation or quarantine directed by the Department of Health commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, which is punishable by imprisonment not to exceed 60 days, a fine not to exceed $500, or both. See§ 381.00315(6), Fla. Stat.

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ROI-NJ Staff | editorial@roi-nj.com | @roinjnews