Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered Friday that anyone arriving in the state from Louisiana must self-quarantine like those arriving from New York already must because of the coronavirus pandemic.
DeSantis said he is expanding his quarantine order to include Louisiana after officials in the lightly hit Panhandle worried that people will flee New Orleans as the number of positive tests there climb.
The Florida Highway Patrol and sheriff's offices will set up checkpoints to screen cars arriving from Louisiana, DeSantis said.
“There's a fear that as New Orleans becomes more of a hotspot you could have an influx of people into the Florida panhandle from Louisiana,” he said.
DeSantis said the checkpoints will not impact commercial traffic entering the state.
The order will require anyone who arrives from Louisiana to isolate themselves for two weeks under the threat of a misdemeanor conviction and a 60-day jail sentence. He already issued this week identical restrictions on travelers arriving from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
On Friday, he said those restrictions have been successful at reducing the number of incoming travelers from hot spots in the Northeast.
Also on Friday, DeSantis said the state will suspend all new vacation rentals for two weeks.
“Again the concern is people in some of these hot spots wanting to come here,” he said. “Now is not really the time to do that.”
He says the suspension does not apply to people who are in a rental now.