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Louisianians entering Texas ordered to quarantine

Posted at 11:49 PM, Mar 30, 2020

Texas Governor Greg Abbott's executive order for Louisiana residents entering Texas to quarantine is in effect.

Florida enacted a similar order on visitors from Louisiana.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said as of now, they are not setting up any checkpoints along the Louisiana, Texas border. DPS did say they are stepping up patrols in the area.

Texas DPS would not get into specifics about how they will enforce Governor Abbott's order. DPS told KATC people should abide by the Governor's orders to "mitigate the consequences of a public health disaster."

Up I-10 in Orange, Texas we met Tim Miller from Starks, Louisiana. He works in Port Arthur, Texas and is worried about traveling back-and-forth.

"The way we were told that at noon today, they'd start pulling people and checking id's...mandatory 14 day quarantine once you get into Texas," Miller said.

Along the interstate in Texas, alert message boards remind Louisianians to self-quarantine if they enter the state for personal business.

Greg Smith of Texas said, "I think it's a good idea. I think there should be a nationwide quarantine and a nationwide travel ban."

Miller said his company is essential and let employees leave early to prepare for the Governor's order. Some packed clothes and are planning to stay in Texas for a week or longer.

"I have relatives over here, but I don't plan to stay over here for an extended period of time, not when I live less than six miles from the state line," Miller said.

Governor Abbott's order does not apply to travel related to commercial activity, military service, health response just to name a few. Texas DPS says those caught violating the Governor's order could face criminal penalties including fines and jail time.

Here's the Texas Department of Public Safety's full statement:

Governor Greg Abbott has tasked the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) with enforcing two Executive Orders (GA-11 [gov.texas.gov], issued March 26, and GA-12 [gov.texas.gov], issued March 29) surrounding travel into the state of Texas, and DPS is vigorously enforcing these orders. GA-11 specifically addresses air travel, while GA-12 addresses travel by roadways by individuals from Louisiana into Texas.

The department will enforce the Executive Order regarding the obligation of individuals entering the state of Texas through roadways from Louisiana to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days. A covered person under the mandated quarantines shall remain in the designated quarantine location for a period of 14 days or the duration of the person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter. A violation of the orders is subject to criminal penalties, and while the department will not discuss its operational plans regarding enforcement, we encourage all individuals to abide by all the measures that the Governor has enacted to mitigate the consequences of the current public health disaster.

While the department will not discuss specifics related to its operational plans regarding enforcement, we can tell you that at this time, DPS will not be establishing checkpoints along the Texas/Louisiana border. However, the department will be increasing our patrols in these areas. Again, it is important for those who fall under the self-quarantine mandates to remember that a violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders is subject to criminal penalties