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Texas to require 14-day quarantine for all travelers from Louisiana, add same restrictions for fliers from other hot spots

Gov. Greg Abbott at a bill-signing ceremony in June. (Lola Gomez/American-Statesman/TNS)

Travel by road from Louisiana into Texas at any location will require a 14-day self-quarantine by those arriving in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Sunday.

The road travel order is the same as the earlier order for air travelers from New Orleans. Exceptions include commercial, military, health care providers, first responders and “critical infrastructure” workers, Abbott said.

He said the order will be enforced by the Texas Department of Public Safety at and near entry points from Louisiana. A DPS spokeswoman did not immediately respond to request for information about how the agency would enforce the new order.

Air travelers from Miami, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago and any site in California and Washington state will have to self-quarantine for 14 days in Texas, just as with an order he announced last week for travelers coming from greater New York City and New Orleans.

When the first air travel quarantine restrictions were announced last week, DPS troopers were charged with handing out forms requiring arriving travelers to list where they would be carrying out their 14-day quarantine.

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More than 3,500 Louisiana residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and more than 150 of them have died, according to state figures released Sunday.

No felons released

Another executive order from Abbott calls for an end to the release of some prisoners from jails in Texas, saying inappropriate release of some inmates complicates the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Releasing dangerous criminals into the streets is not the right solution,” he said.

He made the announcement at the same briefing that he announced that the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas will become the state’s first pop-up hospital for coronavirus.

Abbott said 25,483 Texans have been tested for the coronavirus. Of them, 2,552 tested positive. Texas now has cases in 118 of 254 counties, he said.

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© 2020 The Dallas Morning News