Texans traveling to tri-state area required to self-quarantine due to spike in state cases
DALLAS - New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will require people traveling from Texas and other states with rising cases to quarantine for 14 days. That order takes effect Wednesday night.
It was nearly three months ago to the day that Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order requiring people arriving from the tri-state area to quarantine 14 days because the community spread there was so high. As things now improve there and worsen in Texas, the tables have turned.
For Jessica Austin and fiancée Garrett Stinchcomb, it seemed like it would have been the right time to get back to New York.
“We were hoping that at this time, maybe things would settle down a little bit,” she said. “I came home for spring break, and that’s when the initial stay at home orders went in place. So since March, I’ve been working remotely here in Texas.”
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With plans to work from home for a while, Austin decided to move from her New York apartment back to Dallas. With the New York lease up at the end of the month, they were about to fly there to move her belongings.
“We really don’t know what we’re supposed to do,” Stinchcomb said.
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will now require all people arriving from Texas and several other states with high community spread to quarantine 14 days.
READ MORE: NY, NJ, and CT order quarantine for visitors from states with high infection numbers
It’s a role reversal. On March 26, it was Gov. Abbott signed an executive order issuing a quarantine for people arriving from the tri-state area. The state also set up checkpoints for people arriving from Louisiana.
But as the New York area's situation has improved, Texas — by the governor’s admission — is facing a massive outbreak.
MORE: Gov. Abbott says Texas facing 'massive' COVID-19 outbreak
While Austin and Stinchcomb acknowledge there are people in worse spots than them, the latest travel advisory leads to more confusion in an already difficult 2020.
“Are we going to have to go get a hotel room? What’s the cost of doing that? Are we going to be able to come home?” Austin wondered.
“Who knows what the future holds. Even if we were able to get an extension on our lease or we were able to get something worked out, when would be the right time to go?” Stinchcomb said. “It wasn’t the right time a few months ago because of other restrictions. We thought it would be the right time. We thought we did the right thing buying plane tickets out. That’s not the right thing to do."
The different states are enforcing the travel advisory in different ways.
For example, New York says hotel clerks could report people out of quarantine. Law enforcement could pull over out-of-state plates, and there could be hefty fines and “judicial orders” if people don’t comply.