Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has doubled down on his efforts to avoid a statewide lock down to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, as new rules have been proposed for people traveling from New York and New Jersey.
In a news conference on Monday, DeSantis said he planned on signing an executive order that would require any person flying to Florida from New York or New Jersey to self-isolate for 14-days.
"That's the only way we can be sure that that virus is not going to be reintroduced into the State of Florida and then spread," DeSantis said. "And so as we’re working to stop it in the State of Florida you’re consistently having people come in from one of the top hot spots in the entire world. We don't have people coming from Wuhan, we don't have people coming from Milan, but yet you have a flood of people coming from New York City."
The governor did not explain how the self-quarantine would be enforced but said it was criminal offense if people chose to violate it.
Florida law says it is a second-degree misdemeanor to violate a quarantine order that could result in a 60-day jail sentence.
"I just think it would be unacceptable to continue to allow [flights] to simply come in for people who are simply fleeing a shelter in place order in those states," DeSantis said.
New York’s governor, along with several others in states across the country, enforced a stay-at-home order last week.
DeSantis said he did not think the same shutdown in Florida would be "advisable" – referring to massive layoffs and a rise in domestic violence and suicides.
The governor also added that many people may choose to not comply with the order and flee the state.
A statewide closure for bars and gyms was imposed by the governor earlier in the month. Restaurants were limited to takeout and delivery.
Some counties, like Broward and Miami-Dade have gone further, closing not only nonessential businesses but also beaches, marinas and parks. State parks have also been closed.