JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Traffic on Interstate 95 was a nightmare Sunday near a newly implemented checkpoint at the state line put in place to screen for drivers coming from COVID-19 hot spots.
But after shutting down for four hours, changes made by the Florida Department of Transportation appeared to make a difference Monday.
Traffic was flowing smoothly on Monday evening as one-by-one vehicles crossed the Florida-Georgia line.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said the main purpose of the checkpoint is to slow down the influx of travelers coming from COVID-19 hot spots on the East Coast like New York and New Jersey. New York has become the epicenter for coronavirus cases, with 914 reported dead and a case count over 38,000 as of Monday.
Regardless of the driver’s license plate, officials said travelers are required to let health department officials at the checkpoint know which state they are coming from.
Drivers from hot spot areas are taken to a second tent where they are asked to fill out a form confirming they will self-quarantine for two weeks.
Travelers are also provided a travel card that has contact information in case they develop symptoms for COVID-19.
The I-95 checkpoint is an extension of the screenings that are already underway at airports, like the Jacksonville International Airport.
A similar checkpoint was also set up on Interstate 10 in West Florida to screen for drivers coming from Louisiana, another COVID-19 hotspot.