MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Travelers coming to Florida from Louisiana will have to self-isolate for two weeks as New Orleans joins the list of COVID-19 hotspots.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis previously mandated isolation for visitors flying in from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Now, coronavirus cases in New Orleans are on the rise so Gov. DeSantis said Friday he is adding Louisiana to the list.
“There’s a fear that, as New Orleans becomes more of a hotspot, that you could have an influx of people into the Florida panhandle from Louisiana. So, I will be adding to my New York executive order, we will be requiring the same for travelers from New Orleans, Louisiana, and other parts of Louisiana to self-isolate for 14 days. We’re going to be authorizing the use of checkpoints on the roads coming into Florida, for the counties and Florida highway patrol,” said DeSantis.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said he doesn’t want his state’s residents on the roads.
“I am encouraging people from Louisiana to stay home,” Edwards told reporters during a news conference. “So I think that it should be a small number of people who are on the road going into Texas or going into Florida. I got my hands full here with responding to this crisis, and I’m not going to second guess or criticize what other governors are doing or not doing.”
DeSantis said the restrictions would not affect commercial drivers.
DeSantis says he’s also suspending vacation rentals in Florida for companies like Airbnb. That order will be in place for at least two weeks but does not affect hotels or motels. “The concern is people in some of these hotspots wanting to then come here. Now is not really the time to do that. So the vacation rentals will be suspended for two weeks. If you’re in one now, then finish and go home,” DeSantis said. “But for any new rentals, there’s going to be a suspension on that. And we appreciate the assistance of people.”
DeSantis also said he was directing the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to begin enforcing “social distancing” requirements on Florida’s waterways.
“Many people continue to violate social distancing requirements. You know you need to be in groups of 10 or less. What they are doing is they’re tying all these boats together and then having large group parties,” DeSantis said.