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TSA reports over 2 million travelers the weekend before Thanksgiving

By Laura Brown
September 29, 2021
Shutterstock Rf 590075333
©Thaspol Sangsee/Shutterstock
The CDC warned against traveling for the holidays as COVID-19 cases surge.

TSA data indicates that over 2 million people passed through security checkpoints the weekend before Thanksgiving. It was only the second time since March that domestic flight travel had over 1 million flyers in a day. While this is a high number for 2020, it is still only 45% of the total traffic reported through security a year ago.

The surge in travel comes at a time when COVID-19 cases are surging across the country. The Center for Disease Control issued a warning last week urging people to avoid travel for Thanksgiving and encouraging them to stay home. 

“As we're seeing exponential growth in cases, and the opportunity to translocate disease or infection from one part of the country to another, leads to our recommendation to avoid travel at this time,” Henry Walke, COVID-19 incident manager at the CDC, said in a press call Thursday.

The CDC recommends that people spend the Thanksgiving holiday only with the people in their immediate household. “If people have not been actively living with you for the 14 days before you're celebrating, they are not considered a member of your household, and therefore you need to take those extra precautions," said Erin Sauber-Schatz, the head of the CDC's community intervention and critical population task force.

Despite these warnings, AAA estimates that over 50 million Americans are expecting to travel for Thanksgiving. 95% of these trips are expected to be in the car. 

Budget Travel readers are encouraged to stay home for Thanksgiving. If you must travel, try to limit indoor exposure and wear a mask when not eating or drinking. 


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