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Why travelers from New York can be jailed if they enter certain states

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Photo credit: Shutterstock.com / Ana Aguirre Perez

COVID-19 continues to affect social norms. This past weekend, governors from Florida, Texas and Rhode Island announced that more restrictions will be placed on travelers from New York and other states, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Travelers who fly to Florida, Texas or Rhode Island from Louisiana, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut must self-quarantine for two weeks or face a 60-day jail sentence.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis set up checkpoints on Interstate 10 to discourage travel from Louisiana, which currently has seen more than 3,000 cases.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order that “provides that ‘every person’ who flies into Texas from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or New Orleans shall be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into Texas or the duration of the person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter.”

Alaska and Hawaii also imposed self-quarantine orders for people traveling from other states.

However, the states that are imposing the restrictions could be violating the U.S. Constitution. In the 1966 case United States v. Guest,  the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all U.S. citizens have the right to travel freely among the states.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasted the restrictions and said that his state could take legal actions.

“I don’t believe that any federal administration could be serious about physical lockdowns on parts of states across this country,” Cuomo said during an interview on CNN. “I don’t believe it’s legal. It would be economic chaos.”

At press time, there are 33,424 confirmed cased of COVID-19 in New York.