BOSTON (CBS) — With temperatures and vaccinations on the rise and COVID-19 restrictions on the decline, more people are traveling. But health officials said wild scenes like the crowded Miami Beach, Florida are deeply concerning. Thousands of unmasked party-goers triggering a COVID curfew there.
Venus Roots just returned from Miami and witnessed some of the chaos. "I was very nervous because they were just walking around freely. I think Florida should have some strict restrictions on that," Roots said.
Imanie Andrade is vacationing in Providence to escape the Florida Spring break surge. "Everyone has been on lockdown for so long so I'm sure that everybody's jumping on the fact that the restrictions loosened so they can go out and party," she said.
People gather while exiting the area as an 8pm curfew goes into effect on March 21, 2021 in Miami Beach, Florida. College students have arrived in the South Florida area for the annual spring break ritual, prompting city officials to impose an 8pm to 6am curfew as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Miami Beach police have reported hundreds of arrests and stepped up deployment to control the growing spring break crowds. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes is Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases Brigham and Womens Hospital. "It's really concerning to see people gathering in these large numbers without masking and distancing although case numbers are coming down, we could very easily see a surge," Kuritzkes said.
He also said people need to think twice about traveling.
"For vacation purposes, I think it's still a little early to travel. I follow the CDC guidance. If you have to travel, travel wisely," said Kuritzkes.
AAA Northeast said the more restrictions loosen up the more likely people are more are willing to travel. With spring break just around the corner, they are seeing in an uptick in travel.
"We are seeing that there is a pent-up demand for travel. With the vaccination flowing and borders starting to reopen, we're see travelers wanting to get out and start exploring again," said Chuck Nardozza, the managing director of travel sales AAA Northeast.
But health officials say these popular destination spots may lead to a surge in coronavirus cases.
"I think we are likely to see an increase, because the people who are vaccinated are older individuals who may not be traveling. Much of the infections that we've been seeing in the last several weeks are the younger groups, late teens and early 30s," Kuritzkes said.
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