How Will Santa Clara County's Travel Quarantine Order Be Enforced?

The county says it is relying on each person to comply with the order to protect the health of the community

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A new travel quarantine order is now in effect in Santa Clara County.

Starting Monday, anyone who has traveled more than 150 miles away from the county will have to quarantine for 14 days when they return. But the big question is how will it be enforced?

"We of course can’t enforce every action," County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said in an interview with CNN. "We really depend on the public to take actions to protect everyone."

While there won't be enforcement teams waiting at anyone's driveway or at airport gates, the county said it is relying on each person to comply with the order to protect the health of the community.

According to a statement from the county, "Like all health orders, which are legal mandates, individuals are subject to fines for violation of the travel quarantine. Our expectation and hope is that individuals will recognize the seriousness of this surge and do their part."

Passenger after passenger arriving at Mineta San Jose International Airport Monday afternoon was stunned to learn about the new order.

"It's going to make me miss certain quotas that we have company wise and it's going to make a huge financial burden for everyone involved," Karl Walsh, who arrived on a flight from Seattle, said.

Walsh said he didn't see any signs posted in the airport and didn't get any fliers about the order.

Airport spokesman Scott Wintner said the airport is following the order and has put up signs around the airport.

"Because this order came out late on Saturday, we needed some further clarification from the county before we could take any action," he said. "We needed a little bit more time in order to implement the distribution of the actual directive. That is in process now, and certainly by the end of the day today, those directives will be available to everyone as they pass outside of security at the airport."

An alarming number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations prompted the new directive.

There are some exceptions to the order, including essential employees like travelling nurses.

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