What we know about OHIO travel restrictions
The new travel restrictions in Ohio are causing some headaches for tourists.
We’re tracking the impact on you.
Continue reading for our complete coverage of Ohio’s new travel bans and OHIO’s new restrictions.
The state’s new measures, introduced in late January, ban travel from certain states including Texas, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, and some of the country’s biggest cities, including Washington, D.C. In addition, people traveling to New York and Philadelphia will now be required to have a ticket with a specific airline and must pay a $50 security fee.
Ohio also said it would no longer accept electronic payment, and travelers will no longer be able to carry cellphones.
Ohio’s restrictions are the result of an investigation into a 2016 incident in which an Ohio woman died after being stopped by an airport security officer for using her phone to make a text message to her estranged husband, who was in the country illegally.
That case was eventually settled out of court.
On Jan. 3, Governor John Kasich issued an executive order that banned all state and local agencies from “advocating or otherwise facilitating the travel of people who are on a list of individuals who may be subjected to the travel restrictions.”
He said the executive order was necessary because there was “significant evidence” that individuals on the list were planning to “engage in terrorism.”
The executive order, which Kasich signed on Friday, does not apply to all travelers.
The state also said that, if a person is a national, state, or local law enforcement officer, they will not be subject to the restrictions.
“We are making this policy to protect the safety and security of our citizens and protect our state,” Kasich said.
“Ohio is one of the safest states in the nation.”
But some travel experts say it’s a little too broad and that many people will find it hard to navigate.
“I don’t think it’s very helpful to make these kinds of blanket travel restrictions that would basically stop people from traveling to the United States,” said James F. Schuster, a senior vice president at the Travel Association of America.
“The state has been on the wrong side of the law in terms of the way they have approached this issue.
We need to be able for everybody to get out and get around, and if you don’t get around it, you can be charged a fine,” he said.
For the most part, travelers aren’t worried about the new restrictions, as Ohio has no significant incidents of terrorism.
Still, there is one major exception.
If you are from Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Syria, or Yemen, and you are traveling to Ohio, you will have to register for an Ohio driver’s license or state ID card.
The Ohio secretary of state’s office said the order was put in place because there were concerns about potential terror attacks and the threat posed by the Iraqi refugee population.
“When there is a heightened threat of terrorist activity, it is important that Ohio officials are able to determine who they are dealing with, and how they can prevent those threats,” the Ohio secretary said in a statement.
“As a result of these decisions, the Secretary of State has ordered the Ohio Department of Transportation to suspend the issuance of driver’s licenses, identification cards, and permits to people from those countries.
The suspension will take effect immediately.”
In a press release, the secretary of the state said that this suspension would not be permanent, and it would end if the president’s proclamation on the issuance and use of driver licenses and IDs becomes law.