AUSTIN (KXAN) — DPS troopers were at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Saturday, awaiting travelers coming in on flights from Connecticut, New Orleans, New Jersey and New York.
They stood as information gatherers, as described by Sgt. Deon Cockrell, Public Information Officer for the Texas Department of Public Safety, making sure each one filled out a form with identifying information and where they would be self-quarantining.
An airport spokeswoman said DPS planned to have passengers remain onboard the aircraft until they had their forms filled out. Travelers also have the option to fill out the form online before traveling on the DPS website.
Their role was part of an order that went into effect at noon Saturday from Gov. Greg Abbott. That order says all travelers from those cities coming to Texas should self-quarantine immediately after arrival for 14-days, or for the duration of their trip to the Lone Star state, whichever length of time is shorter.
“We’re hoping just like anyone else that they’ll follow that mandate and do the best thing for not only Texas but the rest of the United States,” said Sgt. Deon Cockrell.
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The order is part of Texas’ strategy to fight COVID-19 from spreading.
DPS Special Agents will be conducting unannounced visits to quarantine locations listed on the forms completed by travelers. The punishment for not following the order includes fine of up to $1,000, or up to 180 days in jail or both.
The order does not cover those traveling to the state by car.