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Dexter Toledo, 46, of Sarasota, Fla., reads an executive order issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis moments after arriving at Tampa International Airport on a JetBlue flight from Newark, N.J., just after midnight, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. DeSantis' executive order, which went into effect at midnight Tuesday, requires anyone arriving on a flight from New York City and New Jersey to self-quarantine for two weeks for prevent the spread of the coronavirus. (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP)
Dexter Toledo, 46, of Sarasota, Fla., reads an executive order issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis moments after arriving at Tampa International Airport on a JetBlue flight from Newark, N.J., just after midnight, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. DeSantis' executive order, which went into effect at midnight Tuesday, requires anyone arriving on a flight from New York City and New Jersey to self-quarantine for two weeks for prevent the spread of the coronavirus. (Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Coronavirus in Florida

Gov. DeSantis quietly lifts travel restrictions for New York area

Those restrictions have been in place since March.

After more than four months of restricting visitors from New York, Gov. Ron DeSantis has rescinded the quarantine requirement on people traveling to Florida from the New York tri-state area.

In late March, Florida became the first state to issue travel restrictions on New York, which was the nation’s main COVID-19 hot spot at the time. The order also included Connecticut and New Jersey.

But with an update to that executive order Thursday, the Governor lifted restrictions on travelers from those three states. Before the ban was lifted, travelers from the listed states needed to quarantine for 14 days upon entering the Florida.

In June, DeSantis lifted similar restrictions on travelers from Louisiana, which he implemented only days after the initial New York order.

The order also means the end to the border checkpoint on I-95, intended to identify travelers from the tri-state area.

Limiting the spread of COVID-19 to Florida was an early tenet of the state’s pandemic response. DeSantis has credited the order with limiting plane travel from New York to Florida.

“That’s the only way we can be sure that that virus is not going to be reintroduced in the state of Florida and then spread,” DeSantis said upon issuing the original order.

Now that Florida has become one of the country’s leading hot spots for COVID-19, New York and several other jurisdictions have placed restrictions on travelers from the Sunshine State.

The Governor’s executive order Thursday also revises the rules that businesses must follow when clearing employees for work, per new guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new order removes references to specific criteria that may now be old.

That includes a recent change by the CDC that employers move to a symptomatic approach to clearing diagnosed employees to work again. Previous state and CDC guidelines required two consecutive negative tests, but people have tested positive weeks after warding off the virus, long after they have been contagious or symptomatic.

Written By

Renzo Downey covers the Florida Legislature for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at renzo@floridapolitics.com and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.

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