Visiting Florida? Go directly to hotel, no Disney World for 14 days


COLONIE — Florida is a favorite destination for Capital Region vacationers, with families historically flocking there even in summer, when low prices and school breaks allow for trips to Disney World, the beaches and countless other spots.

But this year, it looks like New Yorkers headed for attractions like Disney World will have to stare at the Magic Kingdom from their hotel windows if they aren’t willing to self-quarantine for two weeks.

With New York one of three “Tri-State” COVID-19 hot spots, the state of Florida months ago said that anyone going there from here, Connecticut or New Jersey would have to quarantine themselves for 14 days before going out in public.

That means vacationers are supposed to stay in their hotels, or in their grandparents or parents’ homes for two weeks before sampling the tourist destinations.

As a result, few people are traveling to places like Orlando right now, said Jean Gagnon, president of Plaza Travel agency in Latham.

“We normally have a  lot of families that would go to Disney World in the summer,” said Gagnon. “That’s stopped,” she explained, adding that “They’ve all postponed until another time.’’

And while Disney World has re-opened on a limited basis, many of the hotels in the area are closed, or offering reduced numbers of rooms to maintain social distancing.

The extent to which people are actually quarantining themselves in the Sunshine State, however, remains an open question after checking with officials there and with travelers who have recently been to Florida.

“I was bombarded,” Iris Ramos of Schenectady said of the text messages on her cell phone from the state of Florida reminding her of safety and quarantine rules when she was there for the past few weeks, visiting her daughter.

Ramos had just returned to the Albany International Airport on Wednesday.

Like others who flew from Albany to Orlando, Ramos had to fill out a contact and information sheet on arrival in Florida so authorities there could make sure she was quarantined.

Tara Edwards had a different story. “They are moving about freely,” she said of her daughter and their friends when they were in Orlando to see Edwards’ mom, who lives there.

Edwards, who was waiting to pick up a friend of her daughter’s, said they had been going out to dinner with no problem.

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