JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Saturday the creation of a new checkpoint on Interstate 95 at the Florida/Georgia border. The checkpoint will screen drivers traveling from the New York City area, a move meant to slow an influx of travelers coming from COVID-19 hot spots.
The announcement follows on the heels of Friday’s decision to set up a similar checkpoint in Northwest Florida, on Interstate 10, targeting travelers from Louisiana.
The I-95 checkpoint is an extension of screenings already underway at big Florida airports, like Jacksonville International Airport.
“Initially I was concerned about doing this because I don’t want there to be a backup," DeSantis said during a news conference Saturday. "But they’re doing it in a great way where the trucks are going through. We’re not worried about that. We’re just worried about the people fleeing some of those areas.”
To deter travel from New York, the Florida National Guard and public health officials have been screening travelers for COVID-19 symptoms on flights coming into Florida’s major airports.
The normally busy JIA was a ghost town Saturday.
A family who spoke to News4Jax said they’re not too worried right now about air travel.
“I think as long as I’m clean and wash my hands and don’t touch everything I think I’ll be good,” one family member said.
When asked about other possible access points for drivers, like U.S. 1 and the Amtrak Train, DeSantis said I-95 is the “natural one” for motorists from the Northeast.