Written by Shelia Dunn, NMA Communications Director with Joe Cadillic, MassPrivatel Blog
The Street Surveillance Watch Blog comes to you biweekly on the National Motorists Association Blog. If you have comments or suggestions, write a comment after this blog or contact us at [email protected].
Travel Restrictions in the Time of COVID-19 Crisis
Ever since the COVID-19 crises began, the constitutionality of certain restrictions has been questioned by the public. Street surveillance and travel restrictions have been implemented and fall into that question category. To understand the depth of travel restrictions, check out this recent state-by-state guide and video from Travel + Leisure.
Many of the travel restrictions that don’t include staying in place, concern movement into a different state or a city.
Under federal law, the freedom of movement is governed primarily by the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the US Constitution. It states, “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.”
The right to travel is not exactly enshrined in our constitution, but there have been many court cases since the founding of our country that have tried to make more clear the state’s power to restrict interstate. Beginning in the 1800s, the US Supreme Court upheld the freedom of movement but never enshrined the federal government the authority to protect freedom of movement. This authority has been incrementally given to the states by SCOTUS starting in 1871 with Slaughter-House Cases, 83 US 36 (1873).
A recent Harvard Law Review blog post entitled Contagion and the Right to Travel takes a look at this contentious issue during the time of Covid-19.
Here is a look at how many states are currently handling travel restrictions. Out-of-state travelers wishing to go to Alaska, Florida, and Hawaii must quarantine for 14-days.
Connecticut, like many other states, has a shelter-in-place order called Stay Safe, Stay Home, which is in effect for only essential activities. Any person coming into Connecticut by any mode of transportation is strongly urged to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Some states like Utah are asking all adults entering the state to disclose their travel plans.
Delaware Law enforcement police officers are stopping people with out-of-state license plates to ask about recent travel and inform them of the quarantine requirement, unless they are driving on I-95, I-295, or I-495.
Our nation, along with the rest of the world, has never encountered a crisis quite like this. Travel restrictions are just one issue that will continue to worry drivers, especially if they are paired with increased street surveillance.
Here are other the top stories from the past several weeks regarding street surveillance:
- San Diego: Smart Streetlights Aren’t Delivering the Data Boosters Promised
- Reopening Means Contact Tracing. Many States Aren’t Ready.
- Federal Court Says Baltimore PD’s High-Powered Aerial Surveillance Program Doesn’t Violate The Constitution
- Street Surveillance Watch: We Asked All 50 States About Their Contact Tracing Capacity. Here’s What We Learned
- The Los Angeles Police Department Says It Is Dumping A Controversial Predictive Policing Tool
- Chicago Editorial: In the battle against COVID-19, privacy can’t become collateral damage
Joe also has posted the following surveillance pieces recently at his MassPrivatel Blog.
- Street Surveillance Watch: CCTV Cameras Are Being Turned Into Heartbeat Measuring Social Distancing Monsters
- Desperate to Identify People Staying at Home, Biometric Industry holds “Festival of Identity Webinar”
If you would like to keep track of the many issues currently involved in street surveillance, check out Joe’s blog called MassPrivatel. Also, take a daily peek at the NMA’s Driving News Feed or subscribe to Driving News Daily, a five times per week email.
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