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Pandemic, rising gas prices change spring break routine for some in Borderland

EL PASO, Texas -- For many in the Borderland, this weekend is the beginning of spring break.

Normally a time set aside for some relaxation but with Covid-19 still prevalent — it may hold some back as gas prices rise and health officials caution against traveling.

The U.S. Travel Association says only about 12 percent of Americans, or one in eight, will make a spring break journey this year.

“If the virus wasn’t here, I would have traveled,” said New Mexico State University student Samantha Carbajal, who added that she’s still uncomfortable around large crowds.

Gas prices are also on the rise.

“It’s going to affect my plans for the summer,” said Borderland resident Bart Huff, who explained that higher gas prices will likely change his travel routine.

“We might have to reroute a few things,” Huff said.

This weekend will also be the first weekend allowing businesses, including bars, to open to 100 percent capacity after Texas Gov. Greg Abbot dropped restrictions and the mask mandate, leaving people like Carbajal hesitant to have a drink at a packed bar.

“I mean if they are socially distanced maybe, but since the mask mandate has lifted some bars don’t care,” Carbajal said.

Health officials urged caution.

"If you're traveling take the appropriate measures to protect yourself. If you're going on Spring Break, again take the appropriate measures, outdoors is much better than being indoors, wear a mask where you can but again it's about reducing your risk," said Dr. Ogachika Alozi, a prominent El Paso physician and member of Texas' infectious disease preparedness task force.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still urging against any unnecessary travel.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

Jerry Najera

Jerry Najera is an ABC-7 reporter/photographer.

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