Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday during a press conference in Port Charlotte that any attempt by the federal government to restrict travel to Florida due to the COVID-19 virus would be politically driven.
He did not specifically mention the rise in variant cases.
Virus metrics were down, DeSantis said, and the state should remain open. It would purely be a political attack against the people of Florida.
He said he opposes restricting the right of Americans to travel freely throughout the USA while allowing illegal immigrants to pour across the southern border.
"Instituting a travel ban, or any restriction of movement between the states, would be an outrageous, authoritarian move that has no basis in law or science", Rubio wrote.
Florida leads the nation in the number of known cases of the B.1.1.7 strain of the coronavirus, the variant that emerged in the U.K. Researchers says the variant now accounts for up to 15% of the new cases statewide.Because it is more contagious, public health experts worry the emergence of the variant could accelerate spread of the disease. Florida Senator Marco Rubio wrote a letter to President Biden saying travel restrictions on Florida would be "reckless and economically harmful". "If anyone tries to target us we will respond swiftly". 'But if you are now an American citizen living in Florida who wants to travel, they are going to put some form of restriction in your way? "If you are concerned about the coronavirus spread in Florida, I urge you to fast-track additional vaccines to the state instead of attempting to cripple our economy".
'It hosted a Super Bowl with actual people in the stands.
"It just might be a matter of time before we see a variant that is more severe", Salemi said.
The White House also told Reuters "the administration is continuing to discuss recommendations across the travel space, but no specific decisions are under consideration". According to Reuters, the administration has considered requiring COVID-19 testing for domestic travel, but are not now moving forward with this plan.
On January 26, the CDC began requiring negative COVID-19 tests or evidence of recovery from the disease from almost all US -bound worldwide passengers age 2 and older.
The U.S. airline industry has been hard hit by a decline in travel demand, which remains down 66 percent from pre-COVID 19 levels.
Travel restrictions are not imminent and the Biden administration will work with state and local governments before making any decisions.