Florida sets up border checkpoints to screen travelers from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut

Florida is working to set up more highway checkpoints to deter New York, New Jersey and Connecticut travelers from arriving in the Sunshine State as coronavirus cases pass 4,000.

Florida Gov Ron DeSantis said Saturday that the screening of travelers on Interstate 95 will be similar to the measure adopted Friday on Interstate 10 to discourage travel from Louisiana, an area also seeing a large spike in cases.

On Interstate 10, the Florida Highway Patrol and sheriff’s deputies have set up checkpoints to screen cars from Louisiana and require travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days. It’s not clear how the Interstate 95 screenings will be organized.

The new travel restrictions follow the governor’s order on Tuesday that visitors flying in from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are to self-quarantine for two weeks under threat of a 60-day jail sentence.

Florida is working to set up more highway checkpoints (near Key Largo, Florida, on Saturday) to deter New York, New Jersey and Connecticut travelers from arriving in the Sunshine State as coronavirus cases pass 4,000

Florida is working to set up more highway checkpoints (near Key Largo, Florida, on Saturday) to deter New York, New Jersey and Connecticut travelers from arriving in the Sunshine State as coronavirus cases pass 4,000

Florida is working to set up more highway checkpoints (near Key Largo, Florida, on Saturday) to deter New York, New Jersey and Connecticut travelers from arriving in the Sunshine State as coronavirus cases pass 4,000

Florida Gov Ron DeSantis said Saturday that the screening of travelers (pictured near Key Largo, Florida) on Interstate 95 will be similar to the measure adopted Friday on Interstate 10 to discourage travel from Louisiana, an area also seeing a large spike in cases

Florida Gov Ron DeSantis said Saturday that the screening of travelers (pictured near Key Largo, Florida) on Interstate 95 will be similar to the measure adopted Friday on Interstate 10 to discourage travel from Louisiana, an area also seeing a large spike in cases

Florida Gov Ron DeSantis said Saturday that the screening of travelers (pictured near Key Largo, Florida) on Interstate 95 will be similar to the measure adopted Friday on Interstate 10 to discourage travel from Louisiana, an area also seeing a large spike in cases

The new travel restrictions (checkpoint pictured near Key Largo, Florida, on Saturday) follow the governor's order on Tuesday that visitors flying in from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are to self-quarantine for two weeks under threat of a 60-day jail sentence

The new travel restrictions (checkpoint pictured near Key Largo, Florida, on Saturday) follow the governor's order on Tuesday that visitors flying in from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are to self-quarantine for two weeks under threat of a 60-day jail sentence

The new travel restrictions (checkpoint pictured near Key Largo, Florida, on Saturday) follow the governor’s order on Tuesday that visitors flying in from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are to self-quarantine for two weeks under threat of a 60-day jail sentence

National Guard members are greeting travelers from the New York City area at Florida airports.

DeSantis said President Donald Trump told him by phone that he was considering a quarantine for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut amid concerns that their residents have traveled to Florida and infected people in Florida.  

Trump also spoke to reporters Saturday that he was studying the possibility of implementing the restrictions, mentioning specifically Florida.

‘Whatever works I think we need to do,’ DeSantis said. ‘The more people are being shuttled around the country, I just think it makes it more difficult. I think it would make it a lot easier if we didn’t have folks coming in from hot zones.’

But Trump backed away from calling for a quarantine for coronavirus hotspots in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, instead directing Saturday night that a ‘strong Travel Advisory’ be issued to stem the spread of the outbreak.

Vice President Mike Pence tweeted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was urging residents of the three states ‘to refrain from non-essential travel for the next 14 days’.

DeSantis has been criticized for refusing to issue a statewide lockdown that states like California, New York and Illinois have done and instead let local governments issue orders for residents to stay at home

DeSantis has been criticized for refusing to issue a statewide lockdown that states like California, New York and Illinois have done and instead let local governments issue orders for residents to stay at home

DeSantis has been criticized for refusing to issue a statewide lockdown that states like California, New York and Illinois have done and instead let local governments issue orders for residents to stay at home

Over the past few weeks, Spring Breakers (pictured on March 17) have defied orders to social distancing and carried out their parties on beaches and boats in Florida

Over the past few weeks, Spring Breakers (pictured on March 17) have defied orders to social distancing and carried out their parties on beaches and boats in Florida

Over the past few weeks, Spring Breakers (pictured on March 17) have defied orders to social distancing and carried out their parties on beaches and boats in Florida

Social media photos show that some beaches have closed down to the public while others have not. This image shows the contrast between a beach in Duval County, where beaches have been closed, and a beach in St John's County where only the parking was blocked off

Social media photos show that some beaches have closed down to the public while others have not. This image shows the contrast between a beach in Duval County, where beaches have been closed, and a beach in St John's County where only the parking was blocked off

Social media photos show that some beaches have closed down to the public while others have not. This image shows the contrast between a beach in Duval County, where beaches have been closed, and a beach in St John’s County where only the parking was blocked off

On Saturday, DeSantis revealed that a man who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 was on a flight from a New York City airport to Jacksonville International Airport (file image) on Friday when he was intercepted at an airport checkpoint and taken to a local hospital

On Saturday, DeSantis revealed that a man who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 was on a flight from a New York City airport to Jacksonville International Airport (file image) on Friday when he was intercepted at an airport checkpoint and taken to a local hospital

On Saturday, DeSantis revealed that a man who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 was on a flight from a New York City airport to Jacksonville International Airport (file image) on Friday when he was intercepted at an airport checkpoint and taken to a local hospital

Trump announced he reached the decision after consulting with the White House task force leading the federal response and the governors of the three states. He said he had directed the CDC ‘to issue a strong Travel Advisory, to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the Federal Government.’

He added: ‘A quarantine will not be necessary.’

On Saturday, DeSantis revealed that a man who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 was on a flight from a New York City airport to Jacksonville International Airport on Friday when he was intercepted at an airport checkpoint and taken to a local hospital. 

The man told authorities that he believed his symptoms had lessened enough to travel but then the symptoms returned. 

Passengers who were sitting near him at the airport are not being treated by the CDC. 

DeSantis has been criticized for refusing to issue a statewide lockdown that states like California, New York and Illinois have done and instead let local governments issue orders for residents to stay at home.

Over the past few weeks, Spring Breakers have defied orders to social distancing and carried out their parties on beaches and boats in Florida.  

Social media photos show that some beaches have closed down to the public while others have not. 

One image shows the contrast between a beach in Duval County, where beaches have been closed, and a beach in St John’s County where only the parking was blocked off at the beach.

President Donald Trump (pictured in front of US Navy ship Comfort on Saturday) was considering a quarantine for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but he later backed away from that idea, saying a quarantine wouldn't be necessary

President Donald Trump (pictured in front of US Navy ship Comfort on Saturday) was considering a quarantine for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but he later backed away from that idea, saying a quarantine wouldn't be necessary

President Donald Trump (pictured in front of US Navy ship Comfort on Saturday) was considering a quarantine for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but he later backed away from that idea, saying a quarantine wouldn’t be necessary 

There are more than 120,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the US with more than 2,100 deaths

There are more than 120,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the US with more than 2,100 deaths

There are more than 120,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the US with more than 2,100 deaths

DeSantis has been increasingly frustrated that the economies in South Florida, central Florida and the Tampa Bay area have been negatively impacted while travelers continue to arrive from areas with high numbers of COVID-19 infections.

‘You have Floridians across the state who are sacrificing tremendously. The schools are closed. You can’t go to a restaurant. Look at South Florida. It’s basically entirely locked down,’ he said. 

‘How is it fair to them to just be air dropping in people from the hot zones bringing infections with them and seeding the communities with new infections that they are trying to stamp out.’ 

The state’s death toll increased to 54 on Saturday, More than 4,000 people have tested positive in the state and more than 500 people are hospitalized.

DeSantis also said he discussed with Trump obtaining for Florida coronavirus tests that could provide results within a few minutes rather than days. 

Florida has now performed around 40,000 coronavirus tests.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and death. The vast majority of people recover.

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