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Half as many people expected to be traveling this Thanksgiving, experts say

Posted at 9:03 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 21:04:04-05

TAMPA, Fla. — If you’re planning to fly during Thanksgiving week, you may not have to wait in long lines. Numbers are expected to be much lower at airports across the country because of the spike in COVID-19 cases.

Tampa International Airport is projecting about 40% to 50% fewer travelers Thanksgiving week. While St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport will be down by only about seven percent.

"Allegiant has been doing really wonderful because all of their nonstop airports, and midsize airport locations," said Michele Routh, St. Pete-Clearwater Public Relations Director.

Both Tampa Bay area airports say they’re doing everything they can to keep people safe.

St. Pete-Clearwater International has masks at every entrance and socially distanced seating.

TPA has onsite rapid COVID testing and at level three of the main terminal, passengers have the option to wait or eat at outdoor terraces.

But despite their effort to keep everyone safe, numbers are expected to be down.

"Typically at the airport, we would see about 80,000 passengers a day on average during the Thanksgiving holiday, obviously because of the circumstances of this pandemic environment we’re expecting much less than that," said Veronica Cintron, TPA spokesperson.

TPA expects those numbers to be cut to 45,000-50,000 travelers a say.

The CDC says travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. They say staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.

But airports say if you do decide to travel, they are ready.

"We’re here to make sure you feel safe. When people feel it's their time to travel and reconnect with loved ones, we want to be here for them," said Cintron.

For more information on CDC guidelines for the Thanksgiving holiday, click here.