Travelers from LA, NY, NJ, CT, could face jail time, fines for 14-day self-quarantine non-compliance

Nation/World

texas, louisiana

Governor of Texas Greg Abbott expanded penalties for those who don’t comply with the travel restriction 14-day quarantine mandate.

Due to the increase in the numbers of COVID-19 cases in Louisiana, Gov. Abbott is ordering anyone traveling to Texas, from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, or Louisiana to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine.

The mandate include anyone traveling across state lines either by road or air.

Any Executive Order that I issue about travel is keenly focused on one main goal. That is to reduce importing COVID-19 into the State of Texas.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Failure to comply is against the law, and subject to a fine or jail time.

Furthermore, he also issued an Executive Order that he says will stop the release of violent dangerous felons from being released under the statewide mandate. Included in that provision, states:

A person arrested on a charge related to physical violence or anyone behind bars with a history of physical violence won’t be able to bond out.

Executive Order from Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Gov. Greg Abbott says “releasing dangerous criminals into the streets is not the right solution.”

Here is the entire statement from the office of Texas Department of Public Safety:

AUSTIN – In response to Governor Abbott’s Executive Order, DPS has added the required travel form and terms of self-quarantine to our website for individuals traveling to Texas ­— with Texas being their final destination — through an airport from the Tri-State Area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as from the city of New Orleans, to complete as part of the mandated self-quarantine outlined in the Executive Order. DPS is tasked with enforcing this Executive Order, which takes effect statewide at noon on Saturday, March 28, 2020.

Required Travel Form

As part of the Executive Order enforcement, DPS Troopers will be stationed at Texas airports to screen passengers traveling from the designated quarantine areas, beginning Saturday, March 28. Travelers who are subject to the self-quarantine are required to complete this form to provide DPS with identifying information, including their full name, date of birth, home address, driver license/passport information and quarantine location.

Passengers can access the form on our website prior to traveling, which gives them the opportunity to complete it before disembarking the aircraft. Those who do not have a completed form will be provided one upon exiting the plane.

Mandatory Terms of Self-Quarantine

Pursuant to Governor Abbott’s Executive Order, individuals must comply with the Mandatory Terms of Self-Quarantine. As part of the department’s efforts to ensure compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order, DPS Special Agents will conduct unannounced visits at the quarantine locations listed on the forms completed by travelers. 

Enforcement Action

DPS anticipates wide compliance with Governor Abbott’s Executive Order. However, it is important to note that under Texas Government Code § 418.173, failure to comply with these mandatory terms is a criminal offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, confinement in jail for up to 180 days, or both. DPS will take the appropriate enforcement action against anyone who fails to comply with the Executive Order. 

Additional Information

DPS is working with airports, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the airline industry to provide information and help ensure compliance with the orders.

Travel information, including the required form, for those impacted by the self-quarantine can be found online at www.dps.texas.gov/COVIDtravel.

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