WASKOM, Texas. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana travelers are feeling stuck after Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott issued an executive order Sunday for personal travel from Louisiana into the state to be quarantined for 14 days.
The travel restrictions went into effect at noon on Monday.
“A lot of us that live in Waskom work in Louisiana. So, you know, our understanding of the Governor’s orders are that if you cross from Louisiana back into Texas that you’re supposed to quarantine for 14 days which affects a lot of our livelihoods,” said Jason Lopez.
His mother and father have shared custody of his brother and live on opposite sides of the state line.
“He’s just a couple miles into Louisiana. So does he have to quarantine to come over here? Which it was written that, you know, it’s at his own expense. If he gets pulled over, he has to stay in Texas?”
Texas DPS has noted that “Visitors must remain in the designated quarantine location for a period of 14 days or the duration of the person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter,” and that “Motorists may depart Texas at any time.”
Jesie Wagster is a frequent traveler from California who takes photograph stills along his travels. He wanted to travel to New Orleans for the next big adventure, but because of coronavirus turned back around. It’s only he and his little dog, Jake on the open road.
“I wanted to eat some gator and some crawfish in Louisiana. I wanted to have a bourbon on Bourbon Street, and I can’t do any of, ’cause I’m stuck here until I get a chance to go back home.”
He can’t travel through Texas until Friday when his social security check becomes available. That way, he can at least have a place to quarantine.
“Well, I’m kind of jumping back and forth between New Orleans and Texas rest stops or welcome centers, ’cause I’m stranded in this area. I can’t go back to California, because the flu virus is so out of control.”
While the DPS will not discuss specifics related to its operational plans regarding enforcement, they have stated DPS will not be establishing checkpoints along the Texas/Louisiana border.
However, the department will be increasing patrols in these areas. They say it is important for those who fall under the self-quarantine mandates to remember that a violation of the Governor’s Executive Orders is subject to criminal penalties.