SAN ANTONIO – Update (9 a.m., Monday, April 6):
Travelers heading into Texas from Louisiana will be screened at checkpoints along the border as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, troopers at the roadway screening stations will require travelers to fill out forms and provide their designated quarantine location, where they must stay for 14 days.
DPS told KSAT that screening stations will be along major roadways, including highways and high-volume routes, in counties that border Louisiana.
“While the department does not discuss specifics related to its operational plans regarding enforcement, we want the public to be prepared for increased patrols and additional law enforcement presence along the Texas/Louisiana border as we work to enforce the Governor’s Executive Order,” DPS said in part in a statement.
DPS reversed course from last week, when they said they would increase patrols but not establish checkpoints.
Original (12:32 p.m. Tuesday, March 31):
Gov. Greg Abbott has issued new restrictions for those traveling into Texas during the coronavirus pandemic.
Starting Monday, travelers who enter Texas through Lousiana roads must self-quarantine for 14 days, Abbott announced at a briefing on Sunday.
The same rule had already been in effect for air travelers coming from New York — where cases exceed any other state — New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Louisiana and Washington, as well as the cities Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Miami.
DPS troopers will screen air travelers at airports upon arrival, and there will be an increased law enforcement presence along the Texas/Louisiana border, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Travelers will be required to fill out a form.
They must stay at their “designated quarantine location," which can be a hotel, for 14 days or the duration of their stay in Texas.
The travel restrictions “will not apply to travel related to commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response, or critical infrastructure functions,” said a statement from Abbott’s office.
The mandate states that travelers will be barred from visiting public spaces, and they can only leave their location for medical care or to travel out of the state.
No visitors are allowed with the exception of health department employees, physicians or healthcare providers, according to DPS.
Agents may also conduct unannounced visits at the place of quarantine to “confirm your physical presence,” DPS states.
Those who do not comply with the self-quarantine orders could face a fine of up to $1,000 and/or jail for up to 180 days.
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.
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