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Galveston preparing for packed beaches during spring break

Mask restrictions and past social distancing requirements on Texas’ public beaches will no longer be in effect during spring break.

HOUSTON — Spring break starts this weekend and many Houston-area residents are making plans.

Some may be getting on a plane for the first time in a year while others may be opting for a “staycation” or the beach.

Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochessett says deputies are prepping for a big weekend at the beach.

He says visitors are ready to lose their masks and get outside in the sun.

Some visitors already on the island say they’ll be keeping their masks on their faces this spring break.

“We’re going to be doing everything like everybody on the beach, but responsibly,” said Valerie Hodge from Dallas.

“Spaced out; responsible; mask,” said her husband, Johnny Hodge.

Mask restrictions and past social distancing requirements on Texas’ public beaches will no longer be in effect during spring break.

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The Hodges say they think it’s too soon to lose their masks.

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

Officials say the beaches were packed this past weekend, and they’re expecting the same, if not larger crowds, in a few days.

For those spring breakers getting on a plane, on-site COVID-19 testing is now available at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The pop-up test site from XpresSpa opened Monday and is located inside United Airlines’ Terminal E.

“I think this is the future,” said XpresSpa CEO Scott Milford. “We have to get more vaccines distributed, more people vaccinated. But until we can do that, we need to be able to have some type of a testing facility like this for people to take the test.”

Travelers can get results back in less than 15 minutes with a rapid test at the XpresSpa test site and carry proof of their negative results with them to their destinations.