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Millions expecting to travel despite health warnings due to COVID-19

Posted at 5:14 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 17:54:54-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Airports across the country are packed as millions rush to get to their holiday destinations, despite a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The CDC wants people to stay home, but some, like Erin McGrath, are willing to risk it.

“I’m feeling excited to be home,” she said.

McGrath said she feels safe, “thanks to the extra precautions airports have taken.”

Tampa International Airport made several safety changes including requiring masks, putting up hand sanitizer stations and spacing seats for social distancing. The airport also has a COVID-19 testing site which has been busy.

RELATED: Tampa International first airport in nation to offer all passengers COVID-19 tests

“We’ve been seeing as many as 250 people a day coming to the testing site,” said spokesperson Emily Nipps.

While airports across the country expect to be busy this week, it’s not going to be as busy as years past.

“This year is definitely less busy than before,” Nipps said.

Tampa International Airport is expecting 30,000 to 40,000 people a day, according to Nipps. This time last year, 75,000 to 80,000 people came through the airport.

Even though COVID-19 has been a huge financial hit for TPA, Nipps said safety is their main concern at this time.

“Obviously we want to see things turn to normal, but we don’t want to contribute more cases,” said Nipps.