JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Despite health warnings, millions of people packed airports for Thanksgiving travel, making airports the more crowded than any time since the pandemic began. The number of people traveling home Sunday were expected to make it the busiest travel day of the holiday period. of the holiday period.
According to the Transportation Safetly Administration, 1,070,967 people were screened at airports on Wednesday, which is the largest number screened in a single day since March. That compared to the same day last year of 2,624,250 people.
The latest numbers updated Sunday morning show 964,630 traveled through airports on Saturday. In comparison to the same day last year, 2,648,268 people were screened. The number of air travelers on Sunday was expected to be the highest of the weekend.
In 2019, a record 26 million passengers and crew passed through U.S. airport screening in the 11-day period around Thanksgiving.
While bookings are down 60% from last year, millions stuck to thanksgiving travel plans despite warnings. Today is expected to be busiest travel day of holiday period.@JAXairport travelers say once they reach destinations they will be getting tested. @wjxt4. @FlightAware pic! pic.twitter.com/ahDxG8pLLs— Brittany Muller (@BrittMullerNews) November 29, 2020
“Most people were wearing their masks correctly. Right before everyone was boarding their flights, there was a clustering of people, which is something I haven’t seen in a while,” said Kyle McGrath, who heading home to North Carolina out of Jacksonville International Airport on Sunday. “I’m hoping to get tested before I go back to work and getting those results absolutely.”
That’s the same response News4Jax got from travelers across the board.
“My family wants me to get tested once I land and get back,” said Jahier Wilson, who was traveling to Virginia.
“My job test me every time that I come in so I know that I’ll get tested,” said Suzanne Kegley, who has heading to Kansas.
Beth Bergstrom said she and her husband are going home to North Carolina after spending Thanksgiving with her son and new grandbaby.
“We were going to matter what,” Bergstrom said. “There’s always concerns but I think the airlines are doing a really good job to make you feel safe.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting COVID-19 testing prior to and after traveling. The CDC suggests getting tested 1-3 days before your flight and tested again 3-5 days after travel. Additionally, they recommend staying home for seven days after travel, even if you test negative.
If you choose not to get tested after traveling, the CDC said its safest to stay home for 14 days.