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Ask 2: Does the stay-at-home order for Harris County prevent travel to other cities?

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(iStock / Bosca78)

HOUSTONAt KPRC 2, we’re dedicated to keeping Houstonians informed. As part of our new Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston.

The question: Does the stay-at-home order for Harris County prevent travel to other cities?

The answer: Ask 2 has received multiple questions regarding travel outside of Harris County. For example, one Channel 2 viewer asked if it was okay to travel to a city like San Antonio. Another asked if he could travel out of state to visit a dying friend.

The Stay Home-Work Smart order issued by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo relates to travel and commerce within Harris County. There is no language that prohibits travel outside of the county, so in most cases that kind of travel would be okay.

To date, there has been a patchwork of travel restrictions at the local, state and national level to manage the spread of coronavirus. If you plan to travel outside of Texas, make sure you understand that other regulations may impact you.

For example, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has ordered all air travelers from New York or New Orleans to self-quarantine for 14 days after landing in Texas. While it is not a travel ban per se, the order is intended to strongly discourage people from coming into Texas from these coronovirus hot spots. So, if your travel plans include either of these cities, you should not go.

Here is another example: President Trump has banned travel to Europe and the United Kingdom while the coronovirus outbreak continues to devastate that part of the world. American residents already in Europe who are returning must self-quarantine, too.

As the pandemic unfolds, new hot spots will emerge and additional travel restrictions will likely ensue, so be prepared in coming weeks for the list of restrictions to change -- and likely grow.

As a responsible traveler, make sure that you stay clear of places where the coronavirus is known to have spread widely. The spirit of the travel restrictions is to aggressively mitigate the spread of the virus, so do your part. Do not put yourself -- and those around you -- at risk.

And, regardless of where you are, always be diligent about social distancing and hand washing!

Do you have a burning H-Town-related question? Send it our way, and we will try to hunt down an answer.

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The Stay Home-Work Smart order issued by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo relates to travel and commerce within Harris County. There is no language to prohibit travel outside of Harris County.

To date, there has been a patchwork of orders at the local and state level to manage the spread of coronavirus.


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