Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that all airline passengers arriving from the New York-area will face a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Are more domestic flight restrictions around the corner?
DeSantis announced the ban Monday evening, warning that, “I would reckon given the outbreak there that every single flight has someone on it that is positive for COVID-19, and so as we’re working to stop it in the state of Florida.” He added:
“If the federal government is not going to do any restrictions on domestic flights, what we’re going to do in Florida, and I’ll be issuing an executive order, anybody traveling from that region, New York, New Jersey, is going to have to do a mandatory 14-day self-isolation..that’s the only way we can be sure that the virus is not going to be reintroduced into Florida and spread.”
The ban applies to flights from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut and does not apply to passengers who connected through those airports in those states to reach Florida.
Expect health officials and law enforcement to meet incoming aircraft to conduct temperature checks and register travelers for self-quarantine. Members of the military, emergency, and health workers are exempted from the order.
More Domestic Flights Restrictions Coming?
The news changes on a daily basis, but the White House has thus far suggested that a total ban on domestic flights is not on the table. But U.S. carriers and the government are now talking about a further shutdown.
View from the Wing believes we will see more domestic restrictions, particularly in areas that where the virus is contained. As we continue to monitor the trajectory of COVID-19, I also would not be surprised to see more flights cut off to California and New York, since even connecting at JFK or EWR right now poses a higher risk than other hubs, based upon the concentration of COVID-19 cases in those states.
Any domestic shutdown would give U.S. airlines more ammunition to argue that they deserve a taxpayer bailout.
There’s a certain irony in restricting incoming passengers to a “mandatory” quarantine that will be self-enforced while also allowing teenagers to continue to frolic on Miami beaches. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once called U.S. states “laboratories of democracy”. That may come increasingly into play as each states battles COVID-19, though I think the latest travel restriction is more about optics than anything else.
Will this impact your travel to Florida?