Texas Governor Greg Abbott expanded an executive order Sunday that requires people traveling into Texas by road from Louisiana to self-quarantine. That order went into effect Monday, March 30th at noon.
Abbott says that state troopers will be stopping motorists and anyone entering Texas will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Troopers will not be establishing checkpoints along the Texas-Louisiana border but will be increasing patrols into these areas according to a Texas DPS spokesperson.
Commercial activity, emergency response or critical infrastructure responsibilities is still allowed.
Workers who need to travel back and forth over the Texas-Louisiana border will need to get a letter from the state, according to the Texas Department of Emergency Management.
It's for workers traveling in connection with commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response, or critical infrastructure functions. TDEM will use the form to determine on a case-by-case basis whether the self quarantine order applies.
State Representative Brian Babin says approval is based on essential critical infrastructure criteria set by the Cyber-Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), with the Department of Homeland Security.
According to the CISA, those who meet the criteria ensure "continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security."
Approved workers crossing the border will need to carry a copy of the letter along with their company ID or badge and be ready to show it at the border if requested.
Anyone who does not follow the self-quarantine mandates will be subject to criminal penalties for violations. That's up to a 1,000 dollar fine or up to 180 days in jail, or both.
Last week, Gov. Abbott required anyone flying into Texas from New Orleans to self-quarantine for 14 days. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were also on that travel restriction list.
Now, anyone flying in from Miami, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago and all air travel from California and Washington state must self-quarantine for 14 days.
The governor said the intent of that order and its expansion is to reduce "the import of COVID-19" from areas of the country where the coronavirus has had a major impact.