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Spread of new COVID-19 variant isn't deterring travelers to Florida

'I wasn't nervous because I felt like airlines have done a good job,' traveler says
Posted at 9:58 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 23:17:34-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Margo LeRoux and Madison Vetterlein just landed from Philadelphia. Both women have differing opinions of flying to Florida in the current coronavirus climate.

"I wasn't nervous, because I felt like airlines have done a good job with COVID protocols," LeRoux said.

Vetterlein was apprehensive.

"I did feel a bit skeptical about being on the plane in such close quarters with so many other people," she said.

At the moment, Florida is leading the U.S. in cases of the highly infectious U.K. variant of COVID-19. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Kleper De Almeida said Florida must be mindful.

"The concerning part about the B117 variant in Florida is that, over the past few days, we have seen a progressive escalation in the number of new cases," he said.

De Almeida said slowing the spread means more of what's being asked of people now, like handwashing and social distancing.

"The (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has recommended that we consider wearing two masks or that we wear a mask that fits more closely on our faces," he said.

Both women have heard of discussions of possible travel restrictions.

"If it went as well as today, I would feel completely comfortable traveling here again," Vetterlein said.

LeRoux said she feels safe.

"If everyone follows the protocols, there's no need," she said.

So far, research suggests current vaccines work just as well against the U.K. variant.