Monday March 23rd Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Executive Order 20-80 which stated that anyone entering the state of Florida via airports from "an area with substantial community spread," inclusive of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, must isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida or the duration of the person's presence in the State of Florida, whichever is shorter.
The order took effect March 24th at 12:01am.
No other form of transportation other than air travel was mentioned in the order.
New York has become a hotspot for coronavirus and the President of the United States has not placed any bans on interstate air travel.
Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority spoke at a press conference Tuesday evening. "This afternoon we... started support of health officials who were processing passengers and getting information on airplanes from the tri-state area. We got the personal protective equipment this afternoon so we're able to start that implementation. That is being directed by the Health Department and is being supported by ten National Guardsmen. And then of course, we have Orlando Police Department airport division that is supporting them.
He said no incidents had occurred up to that point.
Just days prior to the announcement of Executive Order 20-80, each of the three states mentioned in it separately announced state-wide Stay at Home executive orders for their own citizens in an effort to encourage social distancing.
Connecticut announced a stay at home executive order Friday March 20th when it had 194 coronavirus cases. New Jersey announced a stay at home executive order Saturday March 21st when it had 1,327 cases. New York announcing a "New York State on PAUSE"executive order Sunday March 22nd when it had 20,0875 cases.
As of Tuesday morning, Florida has 1,412 cases and the state has yet to issue such an order for its own citizens.
Locally, Tuesday evening Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced a stay at home mandate to go into effect Thursday March 26th at 11pm and end 2 weeks later on April 8th.
Tuesday, Orlando International was scheduled to have approximately 45 daily direct flights from those three states. The airport receives the majority of the airport’s domestic passengers from the northeast region, particularly the Greater New York area.
The Governor ordered the Florida Department of Health to coordinate with the Florida Division of Emergency Management, each aviation and airport authority in Florida, county and local governments, and law enforcement agencies to put the isolation or quarantine into operation.
“We support Gov. DeSantis’ order as a means to implement measures that promote the safety, security and health of our passengers and employees,” said Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “For our part, we mobilized quickly overnight to accommodate the executive order and are prepared to work with the Department of Health in screening passengers as they arrive in Orlando.”
In announcing the order, Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault requested that airports provide space for the processing by Florida Department of Health officials in coordination with law enforcement officers who will assist. In a conversation with FDOT administration and airport executives from across the state, a discussion was held on how to best implement the order.
Airport leaders are currently coordinating with state health officials and the National Guard to finalize actions necessary to enforce the order.
Anyone isolating or quarantining under the order is responsible for all associated costs including transportation, lodging, food, medical care and any other expenses to sustain the person during the period of isolation or quarantine.