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Still no health screenings at Orlando airport for New York-area arrivals after governor’s order

Gov. Ron DeSantis won’t say how he’ll enforce mandatory 14-day self-quarantine

ORLANDO, Fla. – The National Guard is now greeting passengers arriving from New York-area flights at the Orlando International Airport.

Guardsmen and women are overseeing passengers filling out Florida Department of Health questionnaires requiring passengers’ contact and location information.

Passengers are required to hand the completed forms to FDOH workers collecting them in a bin.

On Tuesday, passengers were handed the forms but didn't know what to do with them. News 6 watched as passengers walked out of the airport with the forms.

Monday evening, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order mandating health screenings and 14-day self-quarantines for all passengers arriving at Florida airports from the New York-area.

However, on Wednesday, for a second day in a row, there still were no health screenings, despite the Governor’s Executive Order.

Some passengers said they did not plan to quarantine themselves because they didn’t believe the order would be enforced.

"I don't know if I can just go home and live like normal, to our hotel or be completely isolated," one passenger said. "So if they're not enforcing it I guess I'll just go home, I don't know."

When asked at a news conference Wednesday morning, DeSantis did not explain how enforcement would work or why the FDOH was still not screening arriving passengers.

[PREVIOUS: Travelers flying from New York to Florida must quarantine, Gov. DeSantis says |Here’s what Orlando airport is doing after Florida governor issues New York travel order]

“Governor, it’s not working at the airport, can we ask you one more [question] about the airport?” News 6 reporter Erik von Ancken asked. “They’re all over the place, frankly. People are walking off the plane without being screened. How do you enforce that the airport, sir?”

DeSantis left the podium and walked out of the building without answering the question.

Earlier in the news conference, DeSantis said, despite his order, too many passengers were still flying.

"That's a federal decision," DeSantis said. "It does kind of make no sense, you're telling people if you live in some random town somewhere you must be imprisoned in your home, don't leave your home, don't do it. But yet people are riding the subway in New York City. People fly all over the place from some of the hot zones. Really? How does that make any sense if we're trying to contain this thing."

An OIA spokesperson said on Tuesday 47 flights arrived from the New York-area bringing 891 people. She said that number was lower on Wednesday.

A flight attendant said passengers from New York were getting around the 14-day quarantine by flying from New York to Boston and then to Orlando.

Flights from Orlando to Boston on Wednesday on JetBlue were only $18.

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter or go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.


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