Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf recently indicated that the White House had no plans to stop the flow of domestic travel within the United States in response to the coronavirus-outbreak” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>COVID-19 health crisis, but that hasn’t stopped regional governments from creating their own injunctions in an effort to insulate their populations from the epidemic.
This weekend, on March 29, President Trump coronavirus-press-conference/index.html” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>announced that nationwide social-distancing guidelines will remain in effect through at least April 30.
Now, facing at least another month of COVID-19’s accelerating spread across the country, an increasing number of states are implementing their own measures to restrict the movement of domestic travelers.
Of course, some affected areas have already issued stay-at-home orders for residents, effectively locking down their communities with the exception of essential services. As every level of government struggles to slow the virus’ rate of transmission, the weight of these restrictions now constitutes nearly unprecedented limitations being placed upon U.S. citizens’ freedom of movement.
Fox News suggested that, while governors cannot legally prevent U.S. residents from crossing state lines, mandatory two-week quarantines should certainly serve to discourage folks from planning a visit.
And, as the Rhode Island National Guard and police recently did on behalf of the state health department, officers might even go door-to-door ensuring that self-isolation orders are being followed.
I have enacted an executive order which institutes a Stay at Home directive. No Marylander should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason, such as obtaining food or medicine or seeking urgent medical attention: https://t.co/U4DOZIvsTW pic.twitter.com/jTioU46jRu
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) March 30, 2020
Rhode Island was among the first states to actively begin monitoring out-of-state arrivals and enforcing self-isolation restrictions.
Initially, a March 26 executive order issued by Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo singled out folks arriving from New York—which, both statewide and in its urban center of New York City, is battling the greatest volume of COVID-19 cases that’s concentrated anywhere in the U.S.
Two days later, the order was expanded to include persons coming from all other areas of the U.S., proclaiming that, “Any person coming to Rhode Island from another state for a non-work-related purpose must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days.” The restriction explicitly exempts public health, public safety or healthcare workers arriving to aid the sick.
CNN compiled a list of states that have placed restrictions on interstate travelers, some of which have also issued stay-at-home orders to residents. Travelers who are planning to visit any of the following should visit the state’s official website to research the parameters of their travel restrictions:
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