Snowbirds can leave under Florida’s safer-at-home order, but can they get home?
CLOSE Social distancing matters. Here is how to do it and how it can help curb the COVID-19 pandemic. USA TODAYNAPLES, Fla. – The turning of calendar pages to April is usually the sign for snowbirds to leave Florida in droves for the north.Unfortunately, the arrival of COVID-19 was missing from everyone’s version, leaving many still in Florida not only wondering what Gov. Ron DeSantis’ safer-at-home order means for them but whether they can drive back with other states adopting similar measures.Before we get to that, let’s just get one important point out of the way.While DeSantis’ order does not prevent snowbirds from leaving, health officials are still advising Americans to avoid all nonessential travel. Translation: Don’t do it.To be clear, there are no restrictions on drivers passing through states. Some cities, though, have placed greater restrictions on nonessential travel, so it’s important to check before planning a stop.In an attempt to answer the question, we looked at a few different routes from Florida to examine what a snowbird might face.For a trip to be viable, it depends on these essential elements: food, gas, rest stops, lodging and time to drive.Connie McCormack, whose home is in Rhode Island, is one of those snowbirds facing this dilemma. While