Utah monitors out-of-state visitors for COVID-19

Utah Wednesday joined at least 15 other states in placing some sort of restriction on out-of-state travelers in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert issued an executive order, requiring people over age 18 who enter the state to complete a travel declaration.




The declaration will ask travelers if they’ve been tested for COVID-19 in the last 14 days and what the results are, Herbert told reporters Wednesday. Travelers will also be asked if they are currently experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms and to detail where they traveled before they came to Utah, Herbert said.

The Utah Department of Transportation will use “geo fencing” at nine different points of entry to the state along I-80, I-15, I-70 and some state roads, said Utah Department of Transportation Executive Director Carlos Braceras.

People who travel across the state line will get a text message though an emergency alert system. It will then direct them to a website they will be asked to fill out a travel declaration, Braceras said.

The travel declarations are voluntary and travelers won’t be penalized if they don’t fill them out, he said. The travel declarations will let them monitor how many vehicles are compliant, Braceras told reporters.

“We do not see this as an effort to penalize people. We see this is as an effort to inform and gather data.”

People arriving on inbound flights at Salt Lake City International Airport, will be given a card where they will also fill out the same travel declaration, Mayor Erin Mendenhall.

Officials in Summit County, Utah recently issued the state’s first stay-at-home order and told visitors to leave and those with second homes in the Park City area to stay away after a huge spike in COVID-19 cases.

Zion National Park, one of the most popular national parks in the country, was closed earlier this month at the request of towns at the mouth of the park. The closure came at the request of mayors of Springdale, Rockville and St. George, who said they were alarmed at the number of visitors at the park who were ignoring public health warnings.