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Travelers hitting the skies for holidays, despite pandemic

Posted at 7:01 PM, Dec 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-26 19:38:35-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The holiday travel rush is not what it normally is, but in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, it is more than officials were hoping for.

2020 airline travel in the seven days leading to Christmas is down 60-percent compared to the same time period in 2019, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration.

“We expect we will see more travel than normal, but compared to previous Christmas times, travel is slower,” a spokesperson with Blue Grass Airport told LEX 18 News.

TSA agents screened 6.7 million people in the United States between Dec. 19 and Dec. 25. The highest day for travel was Dec. 23, with 1.2 million people boarding flights.

Ahead of the holiday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised people not to travel. But some told LEX 18 News they feel safe on a plane.

“What makes me feel safe is everybody is wearing their masks. I am a nurse, so I do take full precautions with wearing my mask, hand hygiene and I have I think three bottles of sanitizer in my backpack,” said Erica Virgin, who is visiting family in Florida alongside her husband and one-year-old son. “I would never put [my son] in harm’s way. I do feel safe.”

The C.D.C. recommends those traveling get a COVID-19 test done 1-3 days before a trip, and 3-5 days afterward. They also advise reducing non-essential activities for at least seven days after traveling, even if you test negative for the coronavirus.