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Businesses, area leaders want to know who will enforce the state's travel order

The state's Department of Health wants anyone coming into PA to have a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

GOULDSBORO, Pa. — With COVID-19 cases spiking, the state's department of health wants anyone coming to Pennsylvania to either test negative for a COVID test 72 hours before arrival or quarantine for 14 days after entering.

Pennsylvanians returning home from another state must do the same.

"Nobody's saying who's going to enforce it. How they're going to enforce it,” said Richard Major, a Lehigh Township Supervisor in Wayne County.

Major wants to know who will enforce these new travel restrictions as he oversees the Gouldsboro area that sees many weekend renters from out-of-state.

"They rent houses here, and who's making sure that they're following it?” Major asked.

Newswatch 16 spoke on the phone to a realtor who asked us not to use his name or the name of his company. He stopped putting listings up earlier this week after Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine announced the order on Tuesday.

"People call that wanted to make appointments. We did not make the appointments with them. They're going to have to get COVID tests first, which I doubt anyone's going to that 3 days ahead of time," said the realtor.

The Health Department says the order is enforceable under the Disease Prevention and Control Law with fines ranging from $25 to $300. The health department did not say who would enforce the rule.

Dr. Levine herself said that vehicles coming into Pennsylvania and airline passengers will not be checked.

"There's so many unanswered questions as far as enforcement and what somebody can legally ask,” said Chris Barrett, the president and CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau. He wonders if businesses asking customers if they’ve had a COVID test would be a HIPAA violation.

Workers at Hammerjax Pub and Grill in Gouldsboro agree.

"We can't just go up to a customer and be like, 'Hey, did you have a test? Did you get a test? Where are you from?''” said Felicia Cook, a bartender at Hammerjax.

The travel order goes into effect midnight Friday, November 20th.

The exceptions to the travel orders are for people who travel out-of-state for work or for medical treatment.

If you must travel, the state asks you to download the COVID Alert PA app on your phone.