Gov. Abbott expands travel restrictions in Texas

While many states and cities throughout the country have “stay home orders” in place, airlines continue flying sometimes empty planes.

On Sunday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued executive orders restricting travel. One order requires people traveling from Louisiana to Texas to self-quarantine for 14 days. This order will impact both airline passengers and those driving across state lines.
“It’s definitely slowing everyone down, mostly the economy,” said Todd Harris, a Louisiana resident visiting Texas for work. “It’s never dead like this. It’s always packed. There’s always cars. Even the hotel last night, there were 6 cars in the parking lot.”

TIMELINE: Texas' response to COVID-19

Air-travel from Coronavirus hot spots is also targeted by a new Texas executive order. Passengers landing in Texas from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Louisiana, and Washington will be required to participate in a 2-week quarantine. Also included, flights from the cities of Chicago, Miami, Detroit, and Atlanta.

We asked Harris if the restrictions will impact his future work travel plans.

“It will,” responded Harris. “The businesses aren’t requiring it.”
Many people have expressed curiosity as to how the Texas Department of Public Safety will enforce the new quarantine restrictions.

RELATED: Allergies or coronavirus? For allergy sufferers, a season of worry

A spokesperson from DPS provided the written statement below.
“The department will enforce the Executive Order regarding the obligation of individuals entering the state of Texas through roadways from Louisiana to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days,” said a DPS spokesperson. “A covered person under the mandated quarantines shall remain in the designated quarantine location for a period of 14 days or the duration of the person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter. A violation of the orders is subject to criminal penalties, and while the department will not discuss its operational plans regarding enforcement, we encourage all individuals to abide by all the measures that the Governor has enacted to mitigate the consequences of the current public health disaster.”

Helicopter video taken Monday shows the Louisiana-Texas state line. Traffic along Interstate-10 was moving as it normally would with only a few parked DPS vehicles.

According to the executive order, the maximum punishment for those that don’t follow the mandatory quarantine is a $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail.