Winter break travelers, flying out with COVID caution

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Western New Yorkers are ready to take a break from chilly weather.

People at the Rochester airport getting out of town for winter break say they feel comfortable traveling and will wear a mask when they think necessary. People had boarding passes in hand ready to fly away from the cold and all over the map, too. Some are headed to Florida, some to Tennessee. When News10NBC asked travelers how they felt about the pandemic at this point, some said they’re not as worried as they were months ago.

"We’re all headed to Nashville for a little bit of fun,” said Angela Carpin, a passenger from Farmington.

"We’re headed to Disney for a week long vacation," said Shari Bichoping. from Rochester.

Along with their warm-weather items, travelers say they saved room in their suitcase for COVID caution.

"A little nervous about what it’s going to be like to be out and about, but we’re excited to go out, hear some good music and enjoy ourselves for a change,” Carpin told News10NBC.

"I think since numbers are doing a lot better than they were around the holidays that relieves some anxiety,” Bichoping added.

Mask mandates might soon be a thing of the past for public spaces. In most places, masks are recommended but not required. Travel goers say if it’s an option, they’ll pick and choose when they want to mask up.

"When we’re going places we know that people have different feelings about how they’re wearing their mask and the most important thing is being safe, I hope people respect each other if I choose to wear my mask I hope people respect my choice and we can all have a good time and treat each other nicely,” Carpin said.

We spotted sparkly mini mouse ears across the airport. A family headed to see Cinderella’s castle says masks might be another accessory, but won’t let COVID dictate their fun.

"I’m looking forward to going shopping at Disney Springs or Downtown Disney and hanging by the pool,” said Emma Campoli, a traveler showing off her Disney-decorated backpack.

New York’s indoor mask mandate is lifted, but coming back from vacation students still have to mask up. Governor Kathy Hochul says she wants to get through February break. Depending on factors like infection rates and hospitalizations, she’ll make a decision on masking in schools the first week of March.