Breaking News
More () »

Tampa Bay and Sarasota's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Tampa Bay and Sarasota, FL | WTSP.com

Gov. DeSantis expands travel-related self-isolate order to Louisiana, suspends new vacation rentals

The changes come as DeSantis says he is looking to limit travel to the state from hot spots, epicenters for COVID-19.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida recently ordered people flying from New York to self-isolate for 14 days when they arrived in Florida. 

Since the directive, 3,400 travelers have been screened by the department of health, according to DeSantis. He says his order has created a dramatic reduction in air traffic from New York since it was put in place. 

RELATED: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issues order for New York-area travelers to self-isolate

Now, he says, he's expanding that directive to include people coming from New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana over similar coronavirus travel concerns.

"There's a fear that as New Orleans becomes more of a hot spot that you could have an influx of people into the Florida panhandle from Louisiana."

Louisiana is currently under a "stay-at-home" order until April 13. It limits non-essential travel and enforces stricter regulations on social-distancing.

The Louisiana Department of Health reports 2,746 cases of the novel coronavirus in the state and 119 deaths. 

RELATED: These states have issued stay-at-home orders. What does that mean?

This expansion means the same restrictions that apply to New York-area travelers will impact those from Louisana: 

  • Must self-isolate for 14 days
  • Anyone who violates the order could face 60 days in jail or a $500 fine

"All we are trying to do here is keep our residents here safe," DeSantis said. "If you're coming from one of the epicenters we probably think you should follow the directions of your state and local officials and if they are telling you to shelter-in-place then do that, but don't come here because we're trying to protect our folks."

In addition to air travel restrictions, DeSantis has authorized certain roadway checkpoints for drivers entering Florida. Commerical transportation will not be impacted by this order. 

To help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, DeSantis is also suspending any new vacation rentals in the state for two weeks.

"The concern is the people in some of these hotspots wanting to come here. Now's not really the time to do that," DeSantis said. 

Those who currently have a vacation rental in the state are allowed to finish out their stay before being required to head back home.  

RELATED: The Latest: Gov. DeSantis approves increased SNAP benefits

What other people are reading right now: