Florida Quarantine Rule Remains in Effect

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Yesterday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis extended a mandatory quarantine order for residents of the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut tri-state area. According to the order, residents of those three states must immediately quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Florida.

Here’s the nesting doll of FL Executive Orders that cover this topic.

First, Executive Order 20-51, dated March 1, declares a public health emergency in the state of Florida. On March 9, Executive Order 20-52 designates a comprehensive emergency management plan.

The initial language on quarantine rules for people entering Florida from NY/NJ/CT appears in March 23rd’s Executive Order 20-80 and March 24th’s Executive Order 20-82, the latter of which states:

I hereby direct all persons who enter the State of Florida from an area with substantial community spread, to include the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York), to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida or the duration of the person’s presence in the State of Florida, whichever is shorter. This Order shall not apply to persons employed by the airlines and those performing military, emergency or health response. This Order shall take effect immediately and apply retroactively to all persons who have entered Florida after being in any area with substantial community spread within the previous 14 days. All persons isolating or quarantining under this Section shall be responsible for all costs associated with their isolation or quarantine, including transportation, lodging, food, medical care and any other expenses to sustain the person during the period of isolation or quarantine.

Order 20-80 also states:

This Executive Order shall expire upon the expiration of Executive Order 20-
52, including any extensions.
[emphasis mine]

(The means of executing Order 20-82 was detailed in Executive Order 20-86 on March 27, which set up roadway checkpoints and other modes of identifying travelers from the tri-state area.)

Executive Order 20-82 was set to expire at the end of the valid term of of Order 20-52, which was 60 days after March 9. This means that the initial term that covered NY/NJ/CT quarantining upon arrival in FL was supposed to end on May 7, 2020.

So far, this makes sense. In mid-March, New York was awash in Coronavirus, while Florida was a relative safe zone.

On April 29, Executive Order 20-112 specifically extended Orders 20-80 and 20-82 (the mandatory tri-state quarantine for) until July 7. This was further strengthened by May 8th’s, Executive Order 20-114 which continued the state of emergency established in Order 20-52 for an additional 60 days.

Again, at the time this made sense. New York was still a hot spot in late April, while Florida did not have as many active COVID cases.

Fast forward to July 7, when NY/NJ/CT case prevalence was largely under control and Florida’s cases were running rampant.

Despite the vast change in circumstances, on July 7 Executive Order 20-166 extended the FL state of emergency (originally outlined in Order 20-52 and extended by Order 20-114) by an additional 60 days, until September 5, 2020.

So, since the tri-state quarantine was ordered to remain in effect until Order 20-52 expired, this means that the rule remains, even though NY is now much safer than Florida. The penalty for non-compliance is, “punishable by imprisonment not to exceed 60 days, a fine not to exceed $500, or both.”

Complicating matters is a similar tri-state area quarantine mandate which applies to residents of now 19 states. Travelers from these states (AL, AR, AZ, CA, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, KS, LA, MS, NC, NV, OK, SC, TN, TX, and UT) must quarantine for 14-days. Those violating the quarantine could face up to a $10,000 fine.

So, and we’re finally getting to the relevant part for Touring Plans readers. If you live in the NY/NJ/CT area, and are planning to visit Walt Disney World, you’ll have to quarantine for 14 days upon your arrival in Florida. Then, you’ll have to quarantine for 14 days upon your return home from Florida. So if you want to go to Disney World, you’re looking at a month of sitting around, plus your time on vacation.

I am NOT a lawyer, so forgive me if I’m misreading these orders. But, since the language above states, “I direct all persons who enter the State of Florida from an area with substantial community spread … to isolate or quarantine for 14 days,” this could mean that, while NY, NJ, and CT are singled out, it is possible the Florida quarantine rule would also apply to other areas with community spread – which is essentially the entire list of 19 states that New York is now requiring to quarantine. Meaning that, theoretically, someone coming to Walt Disney World from, say, Georgia, would also have to isolate upon arrival, though they would not currently have to isolate upon their return home.

Though enforcement is likely to be spotty, the letter of the law is indeed cumbersome. And, as always, all of this is subject to change at a moment’s notice.

With the uncertainty about quarantine requirements, has this changed your plans for a 2020 vacation to Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments.

Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel at DisneyWorldMoms.com, a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater. Erin can be reached on Twitter @MsErinFoster.

15 thoughts on “Florida Quarantine Rule Remains in Effect

  • July 8, 2020 at 3:18 pm
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    It appears that this has less to do with health and more to do with politics. DeSantis is doing a poor job in Florida and wants to deflect with this order while we are (presently) doing well in New York. I’ve already cancelled my Disney World trip in November since the D23 event was cancelled. Hopefully my family and I will be able to keep our reservations for August 2021.

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  • July 8, 2020 at 6:41 pm
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    Definitely a political move. Florida Governor DeSantis wanted to quarantine NY residents, and in retaliation NY Governor Cuomo wants to quarantine Florida residents and vacationers. What is laughable (if anything in 2020 can be laughable) is that NY State was experiencing a 7-day average of nearly 1000 deaths per day back in April while Florida has experienced Its 7-day average high of 50 back in early May and has not topped that number despite a month-long increase in positive tests.

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  • July 8, 2020 at 7:07 pm
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    Sorry TwoBits, but the highest New York death rate in April was 599 and the 7-day average was much lower (which was still way too high). And that was before we knew what worked best to prevent the spread such as wearing masks:
    https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data.page

    Florida knew what needed to be done, but DeSantis and many Floridians refused to take precautions. You’re right that little is laughable. The sad thing about the Florida situation is that it was (and is) preventable. Hopefully, everyone will begin to do the right thing.

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  • July 8, 2020 at 7:12 pm
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    We are from NJ and just cancelled our Aug trip because of these quarantines. We will try for October.

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  • July 8, 2020 at 10:28 pm
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    We live in NJ and cancelled our November trip to WDW. We have no plans to rebook until after we are vaccinated for COVID. We have no interest in spending thousands of dollars to wear masks and miss out on parades, shows and fireworks. But will be definitely be back once this is all over.

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  • July 9, 2020 at 8:27 am
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    We have November reservations and right now we’re on the fence. We certainly don’t want to be quarantined and have no interest in wearing masks either as Friends of NJ stated. We are planning to go “all out” on this Disney trip for a change, but just don’t know right now. The idea of reduced crowds is enticing, but not at the price of our health either.

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  • July 9, 2020 at 2:50 pm
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    We are PA residents, but we are flying to Florida from New Jersey. We are not residents of NJ. Does anyone understand if the quarantine apples to us in our situation? Thank you in advance.

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  • July 9, 2020 at 4:06 pm
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    I think that the quarantine would apply. Consider this: If I am a New York resident visiting Florida and then I return to New York, I would have to quarantine in New York since I was in a state that requires I be quarantined. Your plane is coming from NJ which obviously means that you were in NJ. But make sure and contact Florida for their rules.

    As an aside, NJ is in great shape so Florida (which is in poor shape) imposing this quarantine is totally asinine.

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  • July 9, 2020 at 4:56 pm
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    I would assume that the hotel or place that you are staying at will mandate you, as when you check into a hotel a photo id is required, which will show that you are from NY.

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  • July 11, 2020 at 1:48 pm
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    Erin Foster, this is the most succinct and accurate chronological summary of the Florida Executive Orders I have seen to date. Great job of summarization!

    First, my wife and I are from the Syracuse, New York area. Our infection rate is 0.4% as of today — one of the lowest in the nation. For those not familiar with New York State geography, we are approximately 400 miles and 4 hours due northwest of New York City (Syracuse is right in the middle of the state).

    We have a direct flight that has been booked since early February 2020 before the coronavirus was a “thing”, leaving Syracuse late in the evening of 9/5/2020 and arriving in Orlando MCO at 12:35AM on 9/6/2020. Talk about unintentionally cutting it close to the present expiration date of the travel ban! We have full Disney reservations (hotel and park reservations).

    What we desire is what all of you appear to desire — to be able to travel freely and legally to Orlando and go to DisneyWorld without feeling like we are breaking the law. Isn’t that a weird concept — worried about the stigma attached to being a New York state resident?!!? We don’t mind wearing masks at all nor the social distancing — these are the very things that turned New York from really bad to really good (full disclosure — most of New York State including Syracuse was never in the shape that NYC was). We also accept that we must quarantine upon return from DisneyWorld for 14 days (we both have been and are able to continue working from home).

    I hope against hope that this travel ban specifically citing NY/NJ/CT expires or is lifted ahead of its expiration date, which as I noted is the day we are scheduled to fly to Orlando. My wife and I were asked why we want to go to DisneyWorld now with Florida being in the current pandemic state that it is? Simply stated, with the rules and policies that Disney has implemented, coupled with what to my wife and I already seems “normal” (e.g. wearing masks and mandatory social distancing), the risk seems low to experience what may be a once-in-a-lifetime low crowd experience to DisneyWorld.

    There, I said it — experiencing more of DisneyWorld with 75% less crowds. It seems a good trade off of risk-vs-reward to us.

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  • July 13, 2020 at 9:27 am
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    what about Massachusetts residents do they need to quarantine?

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  • July 24, 2020 at 3:09 pm
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    Hey Folks,

    My husband and I are NJ residents (I work from home and he is a teacher). We have family that lives in PA. We are testing to know our status and then will quarantine in PA for the 14 days prior to our trip. Will we have to quarantine when we get into FL? Or will it be ok since entering from PA? We are aware of the 14 days when we get home. Just wondering if we are planning this correctly or if we need to cancel.

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  • July 24, 2020 at 3:28 pm
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    Hi Leanne,

    I am not expert in any of this, but the issue I see is that if Florida is still enforcing the travel ban (air or car), there is no provision in the present Executive Orders that provides for an out of state quarantine (PA in this case) that meets the definition of the orders. Another hurdle is that there is no official document that you could present to “prove” that you were quarantining in PA — all you would have representing an “official document” is your driver’s license (or passport). The only provision in the present orders is to quarantine for 14 days once you reach Florida — and they are asking for a location of the Florida quarantine location (which cannot be the DisneyWorld resort as the quarantine location as DisneyWorld policy follows all of the Executive Orders).

    Again, I’m not an expert and I am absolutely not providing any advice to you to cancel your trip — I just see this as not satisfying the intent of the Executive Orders. I hope this quarantine is lifted and the legal concern for travel for Tri-State residents is removed.

    Reply

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