NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Across North Texas, spring break travel plans are being disrupted by coronavirus fears.
“We really did want to go to Florida,” says Mabel Keeler with her 8-year-old son in tow. “But with all the flight restrictions, we decided to stay and do the local attractions. Like tomorrow we may go to the Dallas Arboretum.”
Although flights are not being cancelled to U.S. destinations, travelers have been increasingly reluctant to continue to fly as the coronavirus spreads.
Keeler is among a growing list of families now looking for good, clean, safe fun, close to home whether that’s splashing and screaming or looking and learning.
“We went to Dallas World Aquarium, we came to the Perot,” shares Chris Taylor in Dallas. “We don’t have any concerns at all. We have our hand sanitizer ready to go and using all the precautions, washing our hands, so we feel good about it.”
A spokesperson for the Perot Museum of Nature and Science tells CBS 11 that the museum has had large crowds since this weekend, sharing in a statement, “the safety of our staff and guests is a year-round priority” and that they maintain vigorous hygiene procedures, which includes commercial janitorial staff directed to thoroughly clean the premises three times a day.
Tim Sigler’s family added to the crowds on Tuesday.
“Dinosaurs, playgrounds, lots of people, everybody touching everything,” says Sigler. S
till, he says he is not concerned about the coronavirus.
“Hand sanitizers were everywhere. Wash your hands a lot and go about your day,” adding “common sense. Wash your hands,” he said.
In Grand Prairie, city staffers say they have been planning for big spring break crowds since last year and coronavirus fears do not appear to be keeping fans at home.
“This is a big time for us,” says Duane Strawn, Director of Parks and Recreation. “I do think people are not comfortable, traveling maybe and so all of the local venues should be seeing good numbers. And with everybody looking at all their protocols, doing what they’re supposed to do, watching their staff and all of the hand sanitizing that we do, anyway. We’re providing a safe place for our citizens to come and enjoy.”
Strawn says spring break numbers are exceeding last year’s, but safety has always been a priority at the city’s Epic Waters indoor water park and other venues.
“We knew we were going to be a big gathering space from day one,” says Strawn. “We really haven’t had to modify much. We’ve added a few more cleaning stations around and everybody’s starting to do the fist bump or wave instead of shaking hands.”
So far, all of the major North Texas attractions remain open to visitors and that’s good news, because a second wave of spring break families are making plans for next week.