Texas DPS begins COVID-19 checkpoints at Louisiana border

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The Texas Department of Public Safety is starting checkpoints and screening of vehicles on roadways entering Texas from Louisiana, beginning on Sunday, April 5.

The screening is due to COVID-19.

The closures come as Texas DPS announced it would step up patrols along the Texas/Louisiana border, instituting a number of roadway screening stations on interstate highways and other routes commonly used by drivers.

The order follows Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order earlier in the week, requiring those traveling from Louisiana by plane or on the ground to quarantine for 14 days before they can enter into public spaces in Texas.

The executive order also restricts travelers into Texas from Louisiana by road and will be enforced like the previous order by the Department of Public Safety, Abbott announced.

More information can be found here.

As punishment for violating these quarantine rules, a $1,000 fine or 180 days in jail will be handed down. However, the requirements do not apply to travel related to commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response, and critical infrastructure functions.

A Texas Highway Patrol spokesperson released the following statement:

"As part of our efforts to enforce Governor Abbott’s Executive Order (GA-12), the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is increasing its presence along the Texas/Louisiana border. DPS Troopers will set up roadway screening stations to gather required forms from road travelers along the border. The area of operations will remain in Texas counties that border Louisiana. The established screening stations will take place on major roadways in these counties, including interstate highways and other high-volume routes. Travelers will be asked to complete the travel form required under GA-12. It’s important for those entering Texas from Louisiana to be prepared to stop.

While the department does not discuss specifics related to its operational plans regarding enforcement, we want the public to be prepared for increased patrols and additional law enforcement presence along the Texas/Louisiana border as we work to enforce the Governor’s Executive Order.”