Millions stick with Thanksgiving travel plans despite Covid warnings

Gino Spocchia
·2 min read
<p>Millions are traveling to celebrate Thanksgiving amid coronavirus warnings</p> (REUTERS)

Millions are traveling to celebrate Thanksgiving amid coronavirus warnings

(REUTERS)

Millions of Americans got on flights in the US this past weekend, unwilling to give up travel plans despite the public health warnings over the coronavirus.

Around 1 million passengers a day got on planes from Friday until Monday, according to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) statistics, with airport crowds larger than at any point since the Covid-19 pandemic started.

However passenger numbers remained less than half of what they were last year.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the White House coronavirus taskforce adviser and infectious diseases expert, warned on Sunday that airport passengers would be particularly at risk.

“You are at a crowded airport, you are lining up, not everybody is wearing masks,” he told CBS. “That puts yourself at risk … that’s what’s going to get us into even more trouble”.

He also warned that the country was in “a very, very difficult situation at all levels” and advised Americans to celebrate with people they lived with on Thursday.

Amid concerns that airport passengers will spread the coronavirus across the US, Dr Fauci pleaded for people to “please seriously consider decisions that you make”.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also advised against travel. However as many as 50 million Americans are expected to board planes, the American Airport Association (AAA) said, from this Wednesday until Sunday.

A CDC advisory warned that, "travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading Covid-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year".

Still, airport passenger numbers are expected to rise ahead of the holiday on Thursday. Some 917,354 people passed through TSA checkpoints on Monday.

Only 87,534 - around ten times less than Monday’s total - passed through US airports on the quietest day this year, back in April.

In the US, Covid-19 cases have almost doubled in the past month. A record 195,542 new cases were reported on Friday, bringing the US total to 12 million cases, according to John Hopkins University.

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