Many countries across the globe (China, Singapore, Italy, Spain and France to name a few) reacted quickly with travel restrictions and lockdowns due to COVID-19, but legally this is a little more complicated in the United States.
This article in The Atlantic explains that even if the president desired to take stronger action, America’s national-level response would be hampered in part by its federalist system. While the president can ban travel from abroad, "Within states, the president has little to no power to act, because of states’ sovereign rights to exercise their police powers."
While domestic travel in most places across the U.S. is still possible, many states have issued their own stay-at-home orders and more than a dozen are discouraging interstate travel by requiring travelers and people who live there who are traveling back to quarantine themselves. According to USA Today, "Alaska, Florida and Hawaii were the first states to institute state-to-state quarantine requirements for travelers last week, and about a dozen other states have followed suit."
Here's a breakdown of the states that have instituted quarantine orders for travelers. Those states are:
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Those bolded are states where all visitors and/or residents must quarantine for 14 days when they enter/arrive/return.
Legal experts have said President Donald Trump doesn’t have the authority to impose a national lockdown as the heads of countries such as Italy, Spain, France and Britain have done. Here's a breakdown of the states that have instituted quarantine orders for travelers.