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Some flock to Florida due to light COVID-19 restrictions, others share concerns

Several travelers we spoke to from out of state Tuesday told us they know how different the restrictions are in Florida compared to their home states.

Some say they visited the area to enjoy less restrictions. Other visitors told us the lighter restrictions concern them, but they are going to do their part and follow the guidelines while they are here.

Flying into Florida, many visitors say the COVID-19 rules are different than what they are used to.

“It seems like where I am from COVID is being taken very seriously compared to restrictions that are here,” said Cole Greashaber, who was visiting from Missouri.

In Florida, there is no statewide mask mandate. There are no restrictions on restaurants, and the governor says restaurants will stay open.

“We just want to send the message, you know, some may want to shut you down,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a press conference. “We want to pull you up. We’ve got your back.”

For some travelers, the differences are what draws them here, but some say the lighter restrictions make them nervous.

“Just walking around here, it’s very different up north,” said Julia Moore, who was visiting from Connecticut. “People are wearing masks everywhere, and I’m going in stores, and people aren’t. It makes me a little uncomfortable, and I hope that people take it seriously because it’s been really bad in our state.”

Whether they have concerns or not, travelers told us they plan to do their part while they are here in Florida to keep everyone healthy and safe.

“I will probably wear a mask most of the time,” Greashaber said.

Earlier in December, the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommended Florida take stricter coronavirus measures, including requiring masks in public spaces at all times, closing or reducing capacity in indoor spaces and limiting outdoor gatherings.

“I think that sometimes people are a little wary about leaving their own states to come here, but I think it’s very safe,” said Nancy, who moved to Naples from Chicago in July.

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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