Texas is ending restrictions on travelers from Louisiana that began a month ago to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Starting Friday, people driving and flying in to Texas from Louisiana will no longer be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. That’s according to an executive order that Gov. Greg Abbott issued Monday, a move that went relatively unnoticed as he made a highly anticipated announcement about reopening Texas businesses.
"Any mandatory self-quarantine already in effect as a result of these executive orders, to the extent applicable to travelers from the City of New Orleans or the State of Louisiana, is terminated immediately" as of Friday, Abbott’s latest order says.
The order leaves in place previous orders mandating a 14-day self-quarantine for air travelers from California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Washington, as well as Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Miami.
Abbott started phasing in the travel restrictions March 26, when he announced a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for air travelers from New Orleans and the tri-state area centered on New York. Abbott later expanded the requirement to include all road travelers from Louisiana, and the Texas Department of Public Safety set up checkpoints along the two states’ border to enforce the rules.
Abbott’s move to nix the Louisiana travel rules came the same day that the state extended its stay-at-home order through May 15. Abbott is letting Texas’ stay-at-home order expire Thursday.
Abbott defended his decision to eliminate the Louisiana travel restrictions in an interview Tuesday with KENS, a San Antonio TV station.
"Louisiana has done a good job of corralling the coronavirus and because their increased rate of new coronavirus cases is less than what we have in the state of Texas now, it’s important for these people who either have families who live across the Louisiana border, or they may be living in Louisiana but working in the state of Texas, or they may need to come to the state of Texas for doing business — whatever the case may be — it was determined by the doctors and the data that it was fine at this time for people to be able to come into the state of Texas from Louisiana,” Abbott said.