Spring breakers travel to Florida despite COVID-19


AP Photo/Devon Ravine

People gather on the shoreline in Destin, Fla., Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

Spring Breakers continue with their travel vacation plans despite COVID-19 outbreaks.

Lauren Stamatopoulos, 19, a University of Kentucky student whose family resides in Addison, Illinois, said her family trip to Florida had been planned for about three months. She said her and her family never considered the possibility of cancelling the trip but on the contrary extended the trip an extra week. 

“Other than Covid-19 we did not have any concerns or fears of traveling, as this is something we do often,” Stamatopoulos said. 

Stamatopoulos who vacationed in Marco Island and Orlando said her family has taken precautions while traveling. 

“My mom wore a mask at the airport, and we disinfected all of our tray tables and seats. Every time we enter a new location, we wipe down the surfaces, and use hand sanitizer or wash our hands as frequently as possible,” Stamatopoulos said. “We have only been leaving the house to get food or go to the grocery store, which we have been trying to limit our trips as much as possible.”

Like Stamatopoulos, Amy Rogozinski, 22, from Cleveland, Ohio said she flew to Florida despite COVID-19 concerns as retails weren’t closed down yet and wasn’t as severe as it is now. 

“They didn’t start closing anything or shutting things down until after we got here and at that point we couldn’t get our money back for anything,” Rogozinski said. 

Rogozinski said she had been on vacation in Miami for about two and a half weeks when shops began to close down. 

“Closing of businesses definitely affected my spring break because this was our first time being in Miami and we didn’t really get to experience any of it as they closed all the major clubs and a lot of restaurants,” said Rogozinsk. “We still had fun and made the most of our trip but it definitely wasn’t the experience we were expecting since they had since closed all the beaches and pools.”

Due to her travels, Rogozinski made sure to take precautions and quarantine herself at a friends house in Miami instead of traveling back to Ohio and spreading anything in case she had it and showed no symptoms.

“I may be stuck in Florida and can’t travel home right now but I guess it’s better being quarantined here than in Ohio,” Rogozinski said. 

While some spring breakers continued with their vacation plans, others had a last minute change of travel plans. 

Cuba Jimenez, 20, a student at DePaul University, said she had been planning her spring break trip to the Florida Keys since January. 

“I was going to the Florida Keys to visit my dad for spring break. The plan was to stay in his sailboat Key West and plan for our trip in July to sail to Guatemala,” Jimenez said. “Neither trip will happen.”

Jimenez canceled her spring break travel plans after DePaul announced the closure of dorms and suspension of in-person classes. 

“It was necessary to cancel the trip for financial and logistical reasons as I had to move back to Seattle,” Jimenez said. “When I arrived home a few days later it became clear that travel to Florida would be ill-advised as well as complicated so I decided not to reschedule flights.”

Jimenez, who was disappointed at first, said she knew the situation was serious and knew continuing with her spring break plan could risk others’ health. 

“I understand the desire to try to continue to act like everything is normal. Especially if you spent a lot of money and time planning a trip, but at this point I think it’s selfish to act like everything is fine,” Jimenez said.