New York, March 24 (IANS) Internal controls are emerging in the US with New York City becoming the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic and Florida became the first state to require people coming from there to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Governor Ron DeSantis said on Monday that anyone flying in from the city and surrounding areas will face criminal penalties if they do not self-quarantine.
“I would reckon, given the outbreak there, that every single flight has somebody on it who is positive for Covid-19,” he said.
New York State has recorded 20,884 cases of Covid-19, while Florida has 1,227.
The self-quarantine requirement “is the only we can be sure the virus isn’t going to be reintroduced to the state of Florida,a he said.
The regulation imposed internally for the first time is similar to the 14-day self-quarantine that people coming back from 28 European countries and China, South Korea and Iran have been instructed to observe, but without criminal penalty.
So far the restrictions imposed by DeSantis do not apply to people who drive in from the New York area.
With its warmer climate, Florida is a favourite retirement spot for people from the colder northern states and 20 per cent of its population is over 65 – the age group most susceptible to Covid-19 – compared to 16 per cent nationally.
(Arul Louis can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @arulouis)