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Floridians are not welcome everywhere right now.

Corona Economics

Travel quarantines: 17 states now have some restrictions on Florida visitors

Two cities also have rules in place for Florida travelers.

From Alaska to Maine, New Mexico to South Carolina, welcome mats are being replaced with ones that read, “If you must come in, please lock yourself in your room for 14 days,” figuratively speaking.

At least 17 states and at least two cities now are restricting arrivals from Florida because of the blooming coronavirus outbreak. Those restrictions and their enforcement vary though. While some states are mandating quarantines, and New York is even threatening $2,000 fines, some states are only recommending quarantines. Some states are offering other options.

Some are citing Florida specifically on lists of problematic states. Others have set up COVID-19 outbreak criteria that Florida currently fails. In the past couple of weeks, several states including Ohio, Kentucky, New York, and Kansas have slapped new restrictions on travelers from Florida.

Those restrictions are double whammies for Florida.

First, Floridians are finding that already problematic travel is becoming tougher for them, as more of the country is replacing those welcome mats.

Second, Florida’s tourism industry depends on visitors from those states. New York, New Jersey, and Ohio are particularly big for Florida tourism, normally. But if they come here from there, they do so knowing they’ll be asked or ordered to quarantine for 14 days when they get home. Thus, a one-week Florida vacation becomes a three-week endeavor.

Here are the latest restrictions:

Alaska

Everyone entering the state is  told they “must” complete a “Traveler Declaration Form” and  they “must” do one of two other things: Either arrive with proof of a qualifying negative COVID-19 test; or receive a COVID-19 test upon arrival, and then self-quarantine at their own expense until negative results arrive. That applies to everyone, whether arriving from other states or countries.

Connecticut

Any person arriving from a state that is being tracked as an “identified” state (currently including Florida and 30 other states) is “directed” to self-quarantine for 14 days from the time they left the listed state. In addition, anyone from one of the identified states must fill out a “Travel Health Form” upon arrival.

Washington, D.C.

Starting Monday, the district “requires” people arriving for “non-essential travel” from “high-risk areas” to self-quarantine for 14 days. Florida is defined as a high-risk area.

Hawaii

Everyone arriving in the Aloha state from anywhere is subject to a “mandatory” 14-day self-quarantine.

Idaho
The. Gem State is “encouraging” a 14-day self-quarantine for people from another country or from a state with substantial community spread or case rates higher than Idaho. That currently includes Florida.

Illinois

The state has no restrictions. But the city of Chicago does.  The city “directs” travelers from states experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, including Florida, to quarantine for 14 days.

Kansas

The Sunflower State says people from certain other states, including Florida “need” to quarantine for 14 days after arrival in Kansas.

Kentucky

The Bluegrass State “recommends” a 14-day quarantine for travelers who recently were in any of nine designated states, including Florida.

Maine

Maine is part of a New England states’ consortium that extends certain exemptions to each other. But anyone, including New Englanders, arriving from anywhere outside of Maine, and that includes from Florida, is “asked” to sign a “Certificate of Compliance” indicating either that they have received a negative COVID-19 test result or that they will quarantine in Maine for 14 days.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts has similar agreements both with its New England neighbors and its New York-area neighbors. For people arriving from Florida and other states, all are “instructed” to self-quarantine for 14 days. In addition, the state instructs people displaying COVID-19 symptoms to not bother to travel to Massachusetts to begin with.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire also has the New England deal, and for everyone else the state  “asks” that arrivals self-quarantine for two weeks.

New Jersey

The Garden State has the New York-area deal; and for those from states that have increased rates of COVID-19, including Florida, individuals are “advised” to self-quarantine for 14 days.

New Mexico 

All out-of-state travelers are “required” to self-quarantine for 14 days, or for the length of their stays in New Mexico, whichever is shorter.

New York

Starting last Saturday, all out-of-state travelers from designated states, including Florida, “must” complete a “Traveler Health Form.” Subsequent failure to comply with a “mandatory” 14-day quarantine, from the time someone was last in a designated state, could subject an individual to a $2,000 fine, an administrative hearing, and orders to complete the quarantine.

Ohio

The Buckeye State says that all individuals from designated states, including Florida, “should” self-quarantine for 14 days at home or in a hotel.

Pennsylvania

The Keystone State is “recommending” that people arriving there from designated states, including Florida, be quarantined for 14 days.

Rhode Island

The Ocean State “requires” people to self-quarantine for 14 days if they arrive from, or have recently traveled to, a designated state, including Florida. However, an alternative is offered: proof of a negative test for COVID-19 that was taken within 72 hours prior to arrival. Also, if someone gets a COVID-19 test and the results come back negative, they can stop quarantine, but such individuals “still need to” self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days, wear a mask in public, and follow physical distancing guidelines.

South Carolina

Travelers from an area of widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, including Florida, are “recommended” to stay at home for a period of 14 days from the time they left the area.

Vermont

With exceptions spelled out in its deal with other New England states, Vermont says people arriving there “must” quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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