The Journal Gazette
Saturday, May 23, 2020 5:23 am

A patchwork of reopening conditions

Promoting tourism is serious business for every state and most larger cities, Fort Wayne included. But COVID-19 concerns have some states disinviting out-of-state visitors. In New Hampshire, golf courses and campgrounds have reopened, but only to state residents.

The restriction is aimed primarily at visitors from Massachusetts who might cross the state line in search of safe recreational space. The virus has been well-contained in New Hampshire, with just 3,382 confirmed cases as of Friday, while Massachusetts had 80,497 confirmed cases, including 5,315 deaths.

“Now is not the time to be inviting or enticing folks out of Massachusetts to come up and either recreate or vacation up here in New Hampshire,” Granite State Gov. Chris Sununu said at a news conference last week.

Indiana’s neighbor to the south also sought – unsuccessfully – to close its borders. A federal judge struck down Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s restrictions on interstate travel. The governor said the ban was necessary because neighboring states weren’t taking necessary steps to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“We have taken very aggressive steps to try to stop or limit the spread of the coronavirus to try to protect our people,” Beshear said in March. “But our neighbors from the south, in many instances, are not.”

U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman ruled the Kentucky governor’s order “did not pass constitutional muster” because it interfered with citizens’ “virtually unconditional” right to travel between states. He cited Ohio’s more limited approach as acceptable: restricting interstate travel only for people who intend to stay in the state.

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