People flying into Texas airports from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will be subject to a mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days, or the duration of their stay in Texas, whichever is shorter.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the order Thursday, two days after White House officials advised everyone who is leaving New York, which has been a hot spot for infection, to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Abbott said he’s issuing a similar advisory for people traveling from New Orleans.
The quarantines will be enforced by the Texas Department of Public Safety. When travelers from these areas enter an airport in Texas, they will fill out a form designating where they will be staying while here.
Troopers will visit these places to verify compliance, Abbott said. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to $1,000 or 180 days in jail.
People in self-quarantine should not allow visitors into or out of the place they are staying other than a health care provider, and they cannot visit public spaces, Abbott said.
Abbott said the state is using every strategy possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“We know we have more work ahead of us as we combat the spread,” Abbott said. “Everybody in the state is up to that task.”
During his last update on Tuesday, Abbott issued an order requiring hospitals to submit daily reports on bed capacity and COVID-19 tests to the state health department. He has been focused on increasing hospital capacity and getting more medical supplies for the state. While he issued an order limiting gatherings and requiring schools, bars and restaurant dining rooms to close, he has not issued a statewide shelter-in-place order as some governors have done.
Watch Abbott's announcement here:
This post has been updated.