TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Late last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order requiring that travelers entering Florida to pass through a checkpoint before entering the state in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19 from areas where wide community spread is evident.
The Florida Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Highway Patrol, has implemented the initial checkpoint on Interstate 10 at the Alabama/Florida line, and an additional checkpoint has been added for those entering Florida from Georgia on Interstate 95.
Commercial motor vehicles should proceed in the left lane and may bypass the checkpoint to ensure timely delivery of products across the state. Motorists who are approaching a checkpoint should be prepared to reduce their speed and should expect to be directed by law enforcement to enter the weigh station. Depending upon the motorist’s origin, they will be directed to either proceed back to the interstate or to pull aside for further screening.
No checkpoints within the state impede commerce or the timely delivery of products across Florida. Motorists who are traveling from areas with substantial community spread — including Louisiana, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — will be required to isolate for a period of 14 days upon entry to Florida or for the duration of their visit, whichever is shorter, and should be prepared for additional monitoring by the state’s DOH to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The executive order does not apply to persons performing military, emergency, health or infrastructure response, or persons involved in any commercial activity, including individuals who live in Georgia and commute to work in Florida.
Upon entry to Florida, each arriving traveler or responsible family member (if traveling as a family) will be required to complete a traveler form. The form requires key information, including each traveler’s contact information and trip details. Failure to complete the form and failure to follow any isolation or quarantine order from the DOH are violations of Florida law.
Additionally, travelers will be provided with a traveler card, which has contact information and guidance in the event the traveler exhibits symptoms while in isolation that are attributed to COVID-19, including fever, cough or shortness of breath.
As part of the implementation of the executive order, the Interstate 95 southbound ramp to U.S. 17 will be closed. Motorists seeking to access U.S. Highway 17 will be detoured to State Route 200 in Yulee, Florida.