With Texas businesses operating at full capacity and no statewide mask mandate, spring breakers have descended upon South Padre Island.
According to local outlet KXAN, beaches are packed for the first time in over a year. Tourist hotspots are taking advantage, soaking in the much-needed revenue.
“The state has opened up for business, so that means we’re open for business,” Clayton Brashear, owner of Clayton’s Beach Bar & Grill, told the outlet. “We’re trying to give the kids something, so they enjoy their spring break and come back to the island.”
Locals are concerned that the free-for-all will be a superspreader event and will bring COVID-19 into the community. Another concern is that the students will bring COVID-19 home with them, potentially infecting their household members and the greater community.
“I hope this doesn’t come back to create an influx of cases and a superspreader virus incident,” said Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino.
After a year spent mostly in lockdown, students say that they’re ready just to be regular college students once more.
“Yeah, I just feel like it’s time to move on with our lives and stuff and get back out there,” Drew Burke of San Antonio, who was at Clayton’s Beach Bar & Grill without a mask, said.