By Staff

GALVESTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – COVID-19 mandates in Texas lifted on Wednesday — just in time for spring break. Officials in Galveston are getting ready for an influx in visits this month while travelers are deciding how they want to approach guidelines against the virus.

The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office told KHOU deputies are in place for a big weekend at the beach and that visitors are also ready to lose the masks.

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The statewide mask mandate was officially lifted on Wednesday. All businesses are also allowed to operate at 100% capacity. Ultimately, it will be up to each individual and business on how they want to follow CDC guidelines.

“We’re going to be doing everything like everybody on the beach, but responsibly. Spaced out, responsible, mask,” Galveston tourists Johnny and Valerie Hodge said. They were visiting from Dallas.

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KHOU reports mask restrictions and social distancing requirements will no longer be in effect on public beaches in Galveston. The Hodges said they are sticking to guidelines as the pandemic continues.

“I think it’s way too soon for not wearing a mask until everyone’s vaccinated,” Johnny Hodge said.

“The word vaccination just gives everybody the go ahead to say the virus is over — and it’s not,” Valerie Hodge added.

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According to officials, the beaches were already packed last weekend, and the same — possibly more — is expected through the month. The Galveston County sheriff said nearly all rental properties on the peninsula are booked. Staff