NYC air travelers to Florida will be met by National Guard, told to self isolate

TCA Video Tribune Content Agency

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — At a virtual news conference Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis doubled down on a Monday announcement that the state would require anyone on a flight from the New York, New Jersey or Connecticut area to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in Florida in an effort to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A new order requires that anyone traveling from New York City to Florida or who has traveled from New York City in the last three weeks must self isolate and report the contacts they’ve had with anyone in the state.

“After the stay-at-home, shelter-in-place order was issued, you started having a flood out of New York City, taking hundreds of flights to the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “Those flights became the hottest ticket … It is mostly South Florida, but we saw 30-40 flights direct to Orlando.”

DeSantis said members of the Florida National Guard will be deployed at Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Guardsmen will collect information from visitors coming off flights from New York City, including an address for the residence in which they will be self isolating. Those visitors will receive advice on how to self isolate and contact numbers for county health departments in case they become symptomatic.

Eventually, this practice will be expanded to other airports, DeSantis said.

Information provided by visitors will be shared with local communities “to make sure they’re keeping an eye on folks who very well may be infected,” DeSantis said.

“Most folks are going to be compliant, but there is teeth to hold someone accountable if they don’t” he said.

Monday’s order marked DeSantis’ most drastic move yet, as he made it a criminal penalty for anyone on those flights to violate the quarantine order. The order applies to all people whose points of departure originate from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut. It took effect Monday.

At the news conference DeSantis also echoed a number of talking points that came from the White House, mainly the idea that measures such as self isolation and business closures shouldn’t last much longer than President Donald Trump’s recommended 15 days.

“Let’s get through the 15 days, and there will be some type of pivot. We’ll look to see what happens there,” he said. “I want to get back as soon as possible … the effects of people out of work … no one is really talking about that.”

He noted that 21,000 unemployment claims were filed Monday alone.

“We’re going to really look to the president and what his team puts together,” DeSantis said. “You have some people who say this virus is much ado about nothing. Then you have people who say we just have to lock down, it may be nine months. I think both of those are false choices.”

Meanwhile, the state’s number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise.

Florida’s Department of Health earlier Tuesday confirmed 185 additional cases of COVID-19 and one new death, bringing the state total of confirmed cases to 1,412. The death toll is now at 18.

The Florida Department of Health added 60 cases in Miami-Dade County, bringing the total up to 338.

In Broward County, 48 cases were added, bringing the total to 311.

Miami-Dade County and Broward County make up 46% of the state’s confirmed cases.


©2020 Miami Herald

Visit Miami Herald at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.