Is There A Texas Travel Ban? The Latest In The Lone Star State – Forbes


Confirmed coronavirus cases are currently increasing in most states across the U.S. Texas has been one of the hardest-hit states. Will the sharp uptick in positive test results lead to a Texas travel ban? Here’s what you need to know about travel to the Lone Star State.
Texas Highway Checkpoints Ended May 1, 2020
In the peak of the first coronavirus wave this spring, Texas erected highway checkpoints at its land border with Louisiana. New Orleans was a pandemic hotspot at that time. These roadblocks were in place from March 29, 2020, to May 1, 2020.
If you were traveling to Texas through Louisiana during this time, you needed to self-quarantine for the first 14 days of your stay. However, there has never been a full travel ban if entering Texas from another U.S. state.
Is there a Texas travel ban?
Is There A 14-Day Self-Quarantine If Flying To Texas?
During the height of the March coronavirus infection rate surge, Texas implemented a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine order. This order was for all returning residents and visitors flying from several states, including California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Washington. Arriving from Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit or Miami metro areas also required 14-day quarantine.
Texas Governor Greg Abbot’s Executive Order GA-24 ended the air travel restrictions on May 21, 2020. You can currently fly into Texas from any state and no longer need to quarantine for the first 14 days (or your trip duration if it’s shorter than 14 days).
However, Texas can reinstate the 14-day quarantine order for air travelers if case counts continue rising across most U.S. states this summer.
Ongoing Mexico Border Closure
The United States and Mexico land border closure remains in effect through July 21, 2020, and potentially later. The border closure continues to extend on a rolling 30-day basis. You won’t be able to travel to or from Mexico by land for unessential reasons until the border reopens.
However, it’s possible to fly between Texas and Mexico. There doesn’t appear to be a mandatory 14-day quarantine if you’re arriving in Texas from an international destination. But this requirement may go into effect with minimal notice as the pandemic situation can change rapidly.
Texas Returns To Phase 1 Reopening Plans
Most states in the Sun Belt were some of the first to reopen and expire stay at home orders in May. Texas was one of the first states with a large population to reach the later stages of their reopening plans. Texas is home to the Houston and Dallas-Ft.Worth metroplexes, some of the biggest cities in the United States.
As Texas is one of the first states to reopen most businesses and activities, the statewide case counts are soaring. For instance, Texas is currently logging approximately 8,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases each day. For perspective, New York reported 10,000 new daily cases in its March peak.
To help reverse the rapid rise in new cases, Texas announced on June 26, 2020, that it was going from Phase 3 back to an earlier phase of its reopening plan. Under the first reopening phases, bars are not open and restaurants can only operate at 50% capacity. Public gatherings larger than 100 people must receive official approval as well.
If you travel to Texas, you currently do not need to self-quarantine. But adults (and children above age 10) must wear a face-covering in public in counties with at least 20 positive COVID-19 test results. Many of the most-visited Texas counties require a face mask under this new policy that goes into effect on July 3, 2020, at 12:01 p.m.
Limited Beach Access
As new coronavirus case counts increase in July, public beach access is being restricted. For instance, Galveston is only allowing foot traffic access to its beaches over July 4th weekend. This trend may continue to discourage tourism and protect local citizens.
Other States Require Quarantine From Texas
There currently isn’t a Texas travel ban if entering the Lone Star State by land or air. But other states have a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine if you arrive from Texas. The New York travel restrictions currently restrict travel from 16 states, including Texas. Mandatory quarantines apply to states that meet one of these metrics during a seven-day rolling period:

New York currently requires a 14-day self-quarantine for all visitors and returning residents coming from 16 states, including Texas. First-time quarantine violators may face a $2,000 fine. Causing harm to another person may result in a maximum $10,000 penalty. While you can enter New York from Texas, you may think twice about traveling if the quarantine ruins your travel plans.
Connecticut and New Jersey subscribe to the same travel restriction methodology as New York. However, they may be more lenient with the potential fines if you violate the quarantine. Other New England states, including Massachusetts and Maine, require a 14-day quarantine when you’re traveling from a distant state.
Before traveling through Texas, you should see if your destination has travel restrictions for the state. You may look for alternate travel plans to avoid mandatory quarantines, if possible.
Travelers currently will not encounter a Texas travel ban. But that can change soon as case counts increase in most U.S. states. For now, other states are placing travel restrictions on those who arrive after spending time in Texas. It’s still possible to travel, but prepare for a potential 14-day self-quarantine.
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