Florida Warns of Possible Jail Time for Out Of State Visitors Who Violate Quarantine Orders

    This aerial photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, shows a checkpoint at the top of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, Friday, March 27, 2020, near Key Largo, Fla. The Keys have been temporarily closed to visitors and non-residents since March 22, because of the coronavirus crisis. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)(Andy Newman/AP)

    MIAMI (VINnews/SandyEller) – With vacation rentals halted and checkpoints set up at all entry points into the state, Florida has rolled up the proverbial welcome mat and is warning those who hope to slip past law enforcement that they could face serious fines and even possible jail time.

    Governor Ron DeSantis announced that checkpoints would be in place to screen motorists coming in from both the north and the west in the hopes of containing the spread of the coronavirus.

    Airport screenings are already in place at several Florida airports and anyone coming into the state from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Louisiana, both by air and on the roads, is subject to a mandatory 14 day quarantine.

    The Florida Highway Patrol will be verifying drivers’ licenses and taking down addresses of where visitors will be staying in Florida, information that will be passed along to local law enforcement. Florida Highway chaplain Mark Rosenberg warned that authorities are serious about enforcing the newly enacted measures.

    “They will be checking up on the addresses given to them and will be knocking on doors to make sure that people are obeying the quarantine order,” Rosenberg told VIN News. “If they knock on the door and you aren’t home, they will be there waiting for you when you get back.”

    Violating the quarantine order is a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by a 60 day jail term and/or a $500 fine. Those who are found to be in rental properties could face even stiffer consequences.

    Rosenberg said that both the governor’s office and Florida law enforcement are taking the coronavirus-related orders very seriously and would come down hard on violators.

    “People who are still thinking of ignoring the rules and coming down to Florida need to know the consequences,” advised Rosenberg. “Don’t assume if you get past the checkpoints that you have nothing more to worry about. If for any reason you are still planning on coming down to Florida, know the rules of where you are going.”

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