Governor Abbott Mandates 14-Day Quarantine For Road Travelers Arriving In Texas From Any Location In Louisiana
WHEREAS, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, issued a disaster proclamation on March 13, 2020, certifying under Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) poses an imminent threat of disaster for all counties in the State of Texas; and
WHEREAS, the Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services has determined that COVID-19 represents a public health disaster within the meaning of Chapter 81 of the Texas Health and Safety Code; and
WHEREAS, I issued Executive Order GA-08 on March 19, 2020, Executive Order GA-09 on March 22, 2020, Executive Order GA-10 on March 24, 2020, and Executive Order GA-11 on March 26, 2020, all in response to the COVID-19 disaster; and
WHEREAS, many cases of COVID-19 in the State of Texas were caused by people who transmitted the virus to Texans after traveling here from other states and countries; and
WHEREAS, Executive Order GA-11 imposed a mandatory self-quarantine of 14 days for air travelers flying to Texas from certain areas experiencing substantial community spread of COVID-19, including the City of New Orleans; and
WHEREAS, Texas shares a border with Louisiana; and
WHEREAS, on March 26, 2020, the Governor of Louisiana proclaimed that “the COVID-19 outbreak in Louisiana has expanded significantly;” and
WHEREAS, on March 27, 2020, the Governor of Florida extended his quarantine to cover people traveling from Louisiana by roadways; and
WHEREAS, the “governor is responsible for meeting … the dangers to the state and people presented by disasters” under Section 418.011 of the Texas Government Code, and the legislature has given the governor broad authority to fulfill that responsibility; and
WHEREAS, under Section 418.012, the “governor may issue executive orders … hav[ing] the force and effect of law;” and
WHEREAS, under Section 418.017(a), the “governor may use all available resources of state government and of political subdivisions that are reasonably necessary to cope with a disaster;” and
WHEREAS, under Section 418.018(c), the “governor may control ingress and egress to and from a disaster area and the movement of persons and the occupancy of premises in the area;” and
WHEREAS, under Section 418.173, failure to comply with any executive order issued during the COVID-19 disaster is an offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days, or both fine and confinement.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas, do hereby order the following on a statewide basis effective at noon on March 30, 2020:
Every person who enters the State of Texas through roadways from Louisiana, or from any other state as may be proclaimed hereafter, shall be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into Texas or the duration of the person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter. This order to self-quarantine shall not apply to people traveling in connection with commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response, or critical-infrastructure functions, as may be determined by the Texas Division of Emergency Management. Each person covered by this order to self-quarantine shall be responsible for all associated costs, including transportation, lodging, food, and medical care.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) shall enforce this executive order along the Texas-Louisiana border. Using a form to be prescribed by DPS, each covered person shall designate a quarantine location in Texas, such as a residence or a hotel, and provide a full name, date of birth, home address, telephone number, and driver license or passport information. DPS Troopers, or other approved peace officers, will collect a completed form from a covered person and verify it against the person’s driver license or passport. Providing false information on this form is a criminal offense under Section 37.10 of the Texas Penal Code. Questions about this form should be directed to DPS by calling (800) 525-5555.
A covered person shall proceed directly to the designated quarantine location entered on the DPS form. Any covered person exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 shall be escorted to the designated quarantine location by a DPS Trooper.
A covered person 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, leaving only to seek medical care or to depart from Texas. During that period, a covered person shall not allow visitors into or out of the designated quarantine location, other than a health department employee, physician, or health care provider, and shall not visit any public spaces.
DPS Special Agents will conduct unannounced visits to designated quarantine locations to verify compliance by confirming the physical presence of covered persons. Any failure to comply with this order to self-quarantine shall be a criminal offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days, or both.
This executive order shall remain in effect and in full force until modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by the governor.
Given under my hand this the 29th day of March, 2020.
Governor Greg Abbott