Landing in Connecticut today on a flight from Florida, Marlene Briscoe was surprised.
“It was a little disturbing that nobody really talked about anything or checked anything about the coronavirus,” she said.
That, however, is about to change. Florida is one of more than 60% of U.S. states now on Connecticut’s travel restriction list. Tuesday, Minnesota was removed but 10 states were added to the list. According to Gov. Ned Lamont, people traveling from any of the restricted states must self-quarantine for 14 days, a mandate that will soon require official declarations from travelers.
“It’s understandable,” said Barry Justiniano of Hartford, who arrived in Windsor Locks today after spending time in Georgia. “If you already know it’s high risk there, there’s no sense on going there and not expecting some repercussions.”
The restricted states, as of July 21, include:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
On Monday, Lamont said people will soon need to fill out an online travel health form, stating where and how they’ll be quarantining. That form will be posted on the state’s COVID-19 website.
Beginning Tuesday night travelers must declare where and how they’ll be quarantining. Violators of the quarantine mandate or failure to fill out this form could receive a hefty fine.
“We wanted to put some teeth behind it and make sure people understood that if they didn’t follow the rules they could be subject to a $1000 fine and that this was critically important,” explained the state’s Chief Operating Officer, Josh Geballe.
The state says the restrictions apply to all forms of travel by air or by land and will be enforced.
“We’ll be having people doing spot checks at the airport and we’ll have a line available for people to call in referrals if they think someone is violating the executive order,” added Geballe.
Geballe says there will be exemptions for essential workers who need to travel in and out of the state and for people who have a confirmed negative test within 72 hours of arrival. All others face the restrictions.
“I think (the governor) is doing right by protecting the citizens of the state. I think it’s a good thing that he’s doing,” said Rick Gosselin of Coventry who was traveling to Florida today and says he’ll quarantine when he returns.