South Florida Airport Officials, Travelers React to CDC's Thanksgiving Travel Warning

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Planning to travel for the holidays? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is hoping you stay home instead.

On Thursday, the CDC recommended Americans not travel for Thanksgiving.

“Amidst this critical phase of the Covid19 pandemic, CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving period,” said Dr. Henry Walke of the CDC. “For Americans who decide to travel, CDC recommends doing so as safely as possible and by following the same recommendations for everyday living during this pandemic, wear a mask in public settings and on public transportation, stay six feet away from others not from the same household and wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer.”

It’s a little early for Thanksgiving travel to take off, but travelers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Thursday were doing their part to be pandemic safe. Everyone had a mask on, it’s mandatory, and some had thoughts about the CDC warning.

South Florida reacts as the CDC issues a Thanksgiving travel warning amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think that’s a decision for every individual family to make, if you have high-risk members of your family you should consider maybe skipping it this year,” said Danielle Pomerantz, who was flying back home to Austin, Texas.

“We’re following protocol, we’re wearing the masks, doing what we should be doing so we can feel comfortable,” said Chana Goldberg, who said she and her husband have already recovered from Covid-19.

Naja Miller and Cobi Williams were headed to Arizona for a Thanksgiving reunion with family members there. They were asked, on a scale of one to ten, how nervous were they about traveling to this gathering?

“Like an eight,” Williams said.

“I’m about a five, I’m gonna take precautions, wipe down the seats, use my mask, pray for the best,” Miller said.

The CDC says it’s concerned about transportation hubs, worried that people won’t be able to maintain social distancing while waiting in line, and that people who don’t live in the same home getting together for Thanksgiving will be bringing infections to the table.

“It’s up to the individual to assess the CDC’s recommendations and make the best judgement for their family, for themselves so you may have some people who say no, they don’t want to travel anymore as well as others who are taking the safeguards, the precautions as recommended by the CDC and they will continue to travel,” said Arlene Satchel, spokesperson for Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. “So it depends on the individual but what we can say as an airport we are doing our part to insure that the airport environment is as safe and clean and healthy as possible.”

Satchel’s counterpart at Miami International Airport echoed her thoughts.

“We have a 24-hour crew here that is cleaning the airport around the clock, so everything is kept as clean as possible and as sanitized as possible,” said Jack Varela, MIA’s spokesperson.

The CDC says we are at a crucial point in the pandemic. Infections and deaths will increase before the situation gets better, so maybe this is the year everyone should consider a virtual Thanksgiving rather than a family gathering.

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