Florida has opened highway checkpoints to screen for motorists entering the state from areas experiencing substantial community spread of coronavirus.
Motorists from Connecticut, Louisiana, New Jersey and New York will be required to isolate for 14 days upon entry to Florida or for the duration of their visit, whichever is shorter, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) said.
Law enforcement officers are directing travelers entering Florida on Interstates 10 and 95 to weigh stations. Depending on the route they have arrived by, motorists are then being allowed to proceed on the highway or pulled aside for further screening, the department said in a release Saturday.
Those entering the state will be required to complete a form that includes each traveler’s contact information and trip details, according to the release.
“Failure to complete the form and failure to follow any isolation or quarantine order from DOH are a violation of Florida law,” it says.
Travelers will be provided with a card containing contact information and guidance if they experience Covid-19 symptoms while in isolation.
Commercial vehicles can bypass checkpoints
The highway checkpoints have been introduced under Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s executive orders to try to limit community spread of coronavirus in his state.
Last Tuesday, DeSantis mandated a 14-day self-quarantine or isolation period for travelers coming to Florida from airports in cities or states with substantial community spread.
On Friday, he extended the order to travelers entering by road.
The order does not apply to people performing military, emergency, health or infrastructure response, or people involved in any commercial activity.
FDOT says that commercial vehicles may bypass the coronavirus checkpoints by driving in the left lane.
As of Sunday afternoon, Florida had reported 4,238 cases of coronavirus and 55 deaths.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday advised residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut not to travel domestically after the number of reported coronavirus deaths doubled to more than 2,000 nationwide within two days.
The three states make up more than half of the 133,900-plus cases and 2,352 deaths nationwide.
The CDC urged residents of the three states to “refrain from nonessential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately.” The states would have “full discretion” on implementing the advisory, which exempts employees in critical fields.