JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — UPDATE: Ramp from I-95 southbound to U.S. 17 closed due to coronavirus checkpoints
Long lines of traffic formed on Sunday as the Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Transportation stopped travelers from coronavirus "hot zones" to deliver a stern message: "Self isolate. We'll be watching."
At Interstate-95's entrance to Florida, every vehicle was diverted and drivers asked a series of questions. For Floridians, getting through was relatively easy.
Here was my interaction, keeping in mind I got on I-95 South from 17 near Yulee.
Checkpoint staffer: “Where are you coming from?”
Him: “Go ahead.”
People in vehicles coming from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Louisiana faced further questions and had to fill out a form, including their contact information. They were told they needed to do a 14-day self-quarantine and given a card with instructions on what to do if they get symptoms.
Big trucks were allowed to travel through the weigh station in a separate lane and were not stopped, to ensure there were no undue delays in the delivery of needed goods.
Florida officials haven't said how they plan to monitor people from hot zones or whether they can ensure those people are actually self-isolating. The travelers could not simply be turned away because it is a national highway system.
Some drivers decided not to wait in the long traffic lines and went around barriers to avoid them. Facebook user Faythe Hall posted a video showing drivers