Florida Governor Rick Scott has announced plans to ban visitors from the Sunshine State, after a spate of high-profile deaths from tourism-related illnesses.
Scott, a Republican, said in a statement that “we are committed to protecting our residents, visitors, and all Floridians from this pandemic and will continue to do everything we can to protect Florida’s tourism industry”.
The announcement was issued on Wednesday evening.
In the US, a national ban on travel to the country from all countries except for six has been in place since November last year.
The US State Department said it was working on a revised list of countries that were no longer allowed to allow visitors.
“We have reviewed our travel policies to ensure they do not pose a threat to US citizens and visitors,” the department said in an emailed statement.
“As part of our review, we will work to update the US Travel Advisory System to reflect current information on countries and people that are no longer permitted to bring in people and goods.”
Scott said in his statement that the State Department was “making the final call” on who is allowed to travel to Florida.
But it is likely that the decision will be taken in a matter of days, as the state has a long, busy schedule of events over the coming weeks and months.
Many of the major tourist attractions are located in Florida’s Miami-Dade and Broward counties, and are expected to be heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Coca-Cola has also said that it is cancelling all events in the Sunshine state for the next two weeks.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Agriculture has warned that many people could lose access to food and other necessities if the coronivirus pandemine continues to spread.
It said on Wednesday that some 2,000 people had been diagnosed with the virus in the US and more than 4,000 have died, making it the worst outbreak since the 2009 pandemic in India.
Florida was one of the first states to ban the importation of meat and fish into the US following the pandemic, which has claimed more than 5,000 lives and brought the US economy to a standstill.
As well as restricting travel, the state also imposed new regulations that included a ban on the consumption of alcoholic beverages, a ban of food trucks, and restrictions on pet ownership.