Texas Executive Order Requiring Self-Quarantine for Travelers from Louisiana and the “Commercial Activity” Exception

On March 29, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gregg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-12 imposing a mandatory self-quarantine for persons entering the State of Texas through roadways from Louisiana. Importantly, the executive order’s self-quarantine requirement does not apply to people traveling in “connection with commercial activity,” among other defined travel purposes. The executive order states:

This order to self-quarantine shall not apply to people traveling in connection with commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response, or critical-infrastructure functions, as may be determined by the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

Therefore, Governor Abbott’s executive order is not a complete travel ban of people entering Texas from Louisiana, and travel in connection with commercial activity is permitted.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is responsible for enforcing the executive order along the Texas-Louisiana border. Travelers entering the state of the Texas from Louisiana should be prepared to demonstrate to DPS officers that the travel is in connection with commercial activity. The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) has published a “Travel-Related Quarantine Exemption Form” that businesses can submit to obtain an exemption from the quarantine requirements.

To submit the Travel-Related Quarantine Exemption Form, click here: https://tdem.texas.gov/ga-11-and-ga-12-travel-exemption-form/

Companies submitting the Exemption Form will need to provide:

  • the company’s name;
  • the critical infrastructure sector in which the company provides services;
  • the company’s EIN Number;
  • the company’s phone number, email address, and website;
  • the address of the company’s headquarters address; and
  • the positions for which an exemption is requested and the justification for the requested travel exemption.

When providing the justification for the requested travel exemption on the TDEM website, a company requesting an exemption for travel in connection with commercial activity should be prepared to explain, at a minimum, the reason for the travel, the traveler’s final destination, and the commercial/business purpose of the travel.

To read Executive Order GA-12, click here: https://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/press/EO-GA-12_roadway_quarantine_for_COVID-19_IMAGE_03-29-2020.pdf

For more information regarding Executive Order GA-12 and the implications on Texas and Louisiana businesses, please contact Matt Thompson in our Houston office. Matt is licensed in both Louisiana and Texas and stands ready to assist our friends east of the Sabine River.