Thanksgiving

Miami, Fort Lauderdale Airports See Spike in Traffic Ahead of Thanksgiving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that gathering with people who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu

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Miami International Airport may not be as busy at it was before the pandemic, but the volume of passengers coming through has risen significantly despite CDC warnings not to leave home for Thanksgiving.

In October, about 40,000 passengers made their way through MIA every day. Over the weekend, that number shot up to 62,000, and the rate is expected to increase after Thursday.

"The airport has hand sanitizer stations, social distancing markings on the floor, plexiglass shields are also up, and masks are mandatory," said Jack Varela, a spokesman for MIA.

"The mask, you need to have it on at all times. It is a mandate from the government, and you need to have it on form the moment you walk into the terminal and while you are on the flight."

Despite the warnings, many people are still traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. NBC 6's Willard Shepard reports.

Brian James, a traveller at the airport Monday, told NBC 6 that although keeping the mask on nonstop was "kind of a headache," it was also "necessary to keep everybody safe. Especially on the planes, somebody is always coughing."

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport also saw a significant jump in passenger traffic, with 68,000 expected on a daily basis this week.

Briana Berry, another passenger at MIA, said the experience of traveling for the holidays during the pandemic was "definitely scary, but I feel like everyone should be safe, since the case count is rising. It's kind of hard to go to places still, and enjoy yourself. Like I said you just gotta to be safe."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that "gathering with people who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu," so if you do plan on possibly opening up your circle, make sure to practice social distancing, wear masks and wash your hands often.

On Sunday, 1,047,934 people were screened at U.S. airports, the highest number of passengers boarding flights in a single day since March 16, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

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