Judge blocks emergency order in Boone requiring visitors to self-isolate

Leaders in Boone require visitors to self-isolate

BOONE, N.C. — A judge has blocked an emergency order in Boone requiring visitors to self-isolate because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order would have required visitors to self-isolate until they’ve spent 14 days in Watauga County. Town leaders in Boone passed the order Thursday.

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The emergency declaration said city leaders were concerned about community spread, the need for more testing and the spike in cases in neighboring counties.

“Obviously this is going to have a very deep effect. A number of people who were planning on coming up for the weekend have canceled reservations," said David Jackson, Boone Chamber of Commerce.

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But Friday afternoon, big hotel owners asked for and received a temporary restraining over. They said Boone’s State of Emergency decision would cost them money after people already made vacation reservations.

Tourism brings $200 million into the local economy -- money businesses desperately need.

“We’re not under an obligation to ask people where they’re coming from and we’re not going to do that,” business owner Andrew Mason said.

A judge will hear more arguments in the case on June 1.