Anyone flying into Texas for a visit or return home from the New York Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey or Connecticut area) or New Orleans should prepare for a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. Texas Governor Greg Abbott Thursday, March 26, issued an Executive Order mandating a 14-day self-quarantine for individuals traveling to Texas as their final destination through an airport from the Tri-State Area of New York, New Jersey or Connecticut as well as the city of New Orleans, Louisiana.
“The State of Texas continues to act upon the recommendations of top state, federal, and local health experts as we implement a comprehensive strategy to limit the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said. “The New York Tri-State Area and the City of New Orleans have become major centers of this pandemic, and it is vital that we take necessary precautions to prevent additional exposure that could originate from people traveling from these areas to Texas. This Executive Order is another important measure we are taking to protect the health and safety of Texans, and we will continue to take any action necessary to mitigate exposure to COVID-19 in our state.”
This Executive Order follows guidance of Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and is to be enforced by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The order stipulates that a quarantined person shall not allow visitors into or out of the designated quarantine location, other than a physician or healthcare provider, and cannot visit any public spaces. The mandatory self-quarantine, according to the order will last 14 days or for the duration of a person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter.
Those entering Texas as their final destination from the designated areas are to use a form from DPS designating their quarantine location. DPS special agents, according to the governor, will conduct unannounced visits to designated quarantine locations to verify compliance. Failure to comply with the order will be considered a criminal offense punishable by a fine up to $1,000, up to 180 days in jail, or both. Questions about the form should be directed to DPS at (800) 525-5555.
The self-quarantine order does not apply to people traveling in connection with military service, emergency response, health response or critical-infrastructure functions, as determined by the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
This Executive Order will remain in effect and in full force until modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by the Governor.