Student travel experiences to Florida amidst pandemic


Courtesy of Flickr

A typical beach in Miami, Fla. was covered by travelers during spring break.

Florida is experiencing a recent influx of spring breakers as their COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted and their COVID-19 cases are rising. 

In Florida, the restrictions are not as strict as they are in other states.

Currently, masks are not required, but they are recommended for circumstances when social distancing is not possible. Many restaurants and indoor gathering spaces no longer have a population limit. There are also no travel restrictions.

“My trip was great. I noticed there were COVID restrictions, and masks were mandatory in my hotel and restaurants,” said Grace Stafford, a junior who visited Delray Beach, Fla.

Certain counties including Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Hillsborough have mask requirements, however, they are not strictly enforced.

“There were very little COVID restrictions,” said Sam Gonzalez, a senior who visited Key Largo, Fla. “Even at one of the islands people were living normally. At restaurants, though, masks were required until we sat down to eat.”

More than 1,000 spring breakers in Miami, Fla. were arrested in one weekend due to violation of COVID-19 regulations. (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Throughout Florida, masks are also not required in outdoor settings, like the beaches many spring breakers are flocking towards. 

“I saw that most people wore masks, but some didn’t and they didn’t get in trouble,” Stafford said.

Miami, Fla., a popular vacation destination, had an 8:00 p.m. curfew each night due to the numerous late-night arrests of out-of-state visitors. 

¨Yeah [there were COVID restrictions], but way less strict than Illinois. Nobody really cared about it in Florida,” said Sebas Davila, a senior who visited Miami, Fla.

Meanwhile, in Illinois, there is still a mandatory mask mandate, along with a limited capacity for gatherings and indoor spaces. 

Over Hinsdale Central’s spring break, hundreds of students and millions of people around the country were visiting Florida’s beaches, raising concerns about rising COVID-19 cases.

“I just don’t think traveling is smart right now,” said Maddie Rosenblum, junior. “Sure it’s fun, but honestly why would we come back to school right after spring break, when we know students have been out of town? It doesn’t feel fair to the students who want to come back and feel safe about it.”

Many students are currently quarantining after either contracting COVID-19 or coming in contact with someone who has during spring break.

To see the current travel recommendations you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.