Despite rising COVID-19 cases and warnings by health officials to avoid holiday travel and non-essential social interaction, more than four million people have passed through TSA screening checkpoints since last Friday, surpassing the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
According to TSA data, it is the first time since March consecutive days of checkpoint numbers reached over 1 million, however air travel is still down nearly 60% compared to last year. AAA predicts a 29% decrease from last year, ABC News reported.
“While Thanksgiving is traditionally spent gathering with friends and family, the year-end holidays are when Americans often venture out for longer, more elaborate vacations. That will not be the case this year,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “Public health concerns, official guidance not to travel, and an overall decline in consumer sentiment have encouraged the vast majority of Americans to stay home for the holidays.”
The CDC has a new online search tool that shows local quarantine rules, testing requirements, and the operating status of local businesses.
“Travel can increase your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19,” a CDC advisory explained. “You and your travel companions (including children) may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to family, friends, and community after travel.”
Joe Biden and lawmakers have repeatedly advised Americans against traveling during the holidays.