AUSTIN, Texas - Saturday afternoon, another one of Governor Greg Abbott's executive orders related to COVID-19 went to effect. The order states anyone flying in from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, or New Orleans into Texas has to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The order will be enforced by Texas DPS troopers.
Once a traveler steps off the plane and into texas, DPS will hand them a form to fill out. The form is one page long and asks travelers to list their name, date of birth, driver's license information, phone number, and most importantly their designated quarantine location.
DPS troopers will be stationed at all Texas airports to enforce this executive order, including at Austin Bergstrom International Airport.
Kaitlyn Ruiz and Michelle DeArce are cousins and had plans to travel to Austin in a few weeks from New York to visit family.
“We didn't think there was gonna be any problem at all,” said Ruiz.
Once they found out about Governor Abbott's order, they decided it wasn't worth the trip. “We wanted to travel so bad, but like we're more high risk to everyone because we live here,” said DeArce.
Texas and Florida have both implemented similar orders taking precautions with NY travelers. “It's devastating, honestly, because, of course, it's for everyone's
safety. It kind of feels like we're just being isolated. It doesn't feel like we're even human at this point,” said Ruiz.
According to Governor Abbott's order, if travelers do not comply they could be fined up to $1,000, be sent to jail for 180 days, or both.
“Repercussions were put in place for a reason. They want to prevent the spread as much as they can from getting even worse. They don't want the situation to happen all across the country so for that reason, it does kind of make sense that they just want everyone to be on top of the rules because they just are to eliminate this,” said Ruiz.
For now, Ruiz and DeArce say they have requested refunds from their airline and plan to reschedule their trip until this all blows over. “With us staying home, it is better for everyone. It's very unfortunate, but this is how we have to live our lives now,” said DeArce.
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