ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando International Airport on Tuesday said it supports Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order that mandates a 14-day quarantine for any travelers coming to Florida from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, although several questions remain about enforcing the measure.
“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 (Monday) to accommodate the executive order and are prepared to work with the Department of Health in screening passengers as they arrive in Orlando.”
Orlando airport officials said there are about 45 daily direct flights from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, receiving the majority of the airport’s domestic passengers from the northeast region, particularly the Greater New York area.
Airport leaders are currently coordinating with state health officials and the National Guard to finalize actions necessary to enforce the order, according to a news release.
When Orange County officials were asked how local law enforcement was responding to the executive order, a county representative said neither police nor deputies had received any additional direction from the governor’s office or health department about how to implement the mandate.
News 6 on Tuesday spoke to a traveler arriving at MCO from Buffalo, NY, who said there were no additional precautions taken or screenings on their flight. The passenger said he was not screened upon arrival, although MCO officials said “all passengers arriving at Orlando International Airport (MCO) from the Greater New York area will be screened by health officials upon arrival.”
DeSantis’ order said anyone from New Jersey, New York or Connecticut flight is responsible for self-isolation, including paying for transportation, lodging, food and medical care.
Anyone who violates the order could face a misdemeanor charge.
As of Tuesday morning, there were more than 1,400 confirmed cases of coronavirus. In New York, there were more than 23,000.