Goodbye, the light of the sun. Hello, study sessions.
Universities across the United States are discouraging parties that could reduce or completely cancel spring break, spread the virus, and increase infection rates on campus.
Texas A & M University chose a three-day weekend instead of a one-week vacation. The University of Alabama and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have also abolished spring break, but are giving students holidays later in the semester.
Even students who have time to escape feel sick. A week-long break at Michigan Technological University began on Friday, but 21-year-old Justin Martin decided to visit Michigan’s family instead of the spectacular senior trip to Florida he once imagined. I decided.
“First of all, I don’t want to travel that way, especially with everything shut down, especially in the case of COVID, it doesn’t seem to be worth it,” he said.
Indeed, many college students trying to blow steam or escape from the cold, snow-covered north are still going to big party spots such as Florida, Mexico, California and Las Vegas, and bar hopping in the sun at night. will go. Others will go skiing in the mountains or attack other attractions.
But many others say they will reluctantly skip trips this year.
“No doubt there are no planned trips. I’m definitely wearing a mask this year,” said Brady Stone, a 21-year-old journalism major at Texas A & M. “It’s like we’re crouching down and staying safe.” “I think most of us will come back to our hometown somewhere,” he added.
Tourism is Florida’s No. 1 industry, generating over $ 91 billion in 2018. Last spring break was one of the first major victims of a pandemic, much like the United States fell into a severe blockade and closed beaches across Florida. College students were inadvertently drinking, dancing, and approaching without masks, scattered throughout social media.
Miami tourism officials say they lost billions of dollars in the last three months.
Today, these beach towns want to make up for some of these losses, despite taking precautions to stop reckless behavior and curb the spread of the virus. Miami tourism officials have spent $ 5 million on the city’s largest national advertising campaign in 20 years.
Some communities are beginning to see visitors return, despite health experts warning that the outbreak that killed more than 500,000 Americans is not over yet. say.
Roland Adeo, chief operating officer of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, said airline travel to Miami has fallen by more than half since last year. However, hotel occupancy is expected to reach 70% in Miami Beach this month, he said. This is down from 85% before the 2019 pandemic, but still significantly better than last year’s 43%.
Dean Trantalis, Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, reports: “We are excited about the hotel prices, which are very competitive and the occupancy rates are very high.”
A student at the University of Louisville, Josie Hornback and her four girlfriends spread colorful towels undisturbed by the virus when they tanned at Clearwater Beach in Florida last Tuesday.
“I’m with someone I know. I’m not at risk,” she said.
Florida has no state-wide mask rules, capacity limits, or any other such limits, thanks to Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ professional business stance. However, local governments can impose rules, which are very different.
At Miami Beach, tourists receive mobile phone messages warning them to “responsibly take a vacation or be arrested.”
“Spring break at Miami Beach can be one of the rites of passage, but only if you plan to follow the rules. Otherwise, you’d better stay home and save on legal costs. It’s okay, “the message reminds us that alcohol, coolers, and tents have been banned from the beach, and curfew has been enforced throughout the county, banning alcohol.Sold after 10 pm
“If you want to have an unlimited party, go elsewhere. Go to Las Vegas,” Miami Beach manager Raul Aguila said at a recent virtual city conference.
Around the state, many take parties to open water. There, guests can absorb with less attention.
Andrew Cohen, co-owner of Staying Afloat Party Boat, said his boats were almost sold out in Tampa and Fort Lauderdale for the rest of the month.
“Many of them are coming down from the colder states,” he said. “And they were tired of working together for the year.”
California discourages out-of-state visitors and warns tourists that they must be quarantined for 10 days on arrival, and beaches, theme parks and ski mountains are usually expected to be less crowded during the busy season. .. With miles of coastline and popular spring break spots such as Disneyland and Santa Monica Pier, the state has some of the country’s most stringent pandemic regulations.
At the University of Mississippi, which cancels spring break and instead ends the semester a week earlier, senior Elizanoe planned a “last Haller-type vacation trip” with her girlfriend, but that doesn’t happen now.
“Spring break was the last moment I got crazy before I grew up, so it was a kind of plan,” she said. “But then the world is over.”
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