More South Dakotans Choosing Not to Travel This Thanksgiving

Air travel in a pandemic

"Social distancing is hard in busy airports and on crowded flights, and sitting within 6 feet of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of getting COVID-19".

Many already have. Transportation Security Administration numbers show that 6,742 outbound passengers traveled through Cleveland Hopkins on Saturday - the highest Saturday total since mid-March.

While that's still only 40% of the volume screened on the Friday before Thanksgiving a year ago, it marks only the second time since mid-March that 1 million people have been screened in a day.

Ahead of Thanksgiving, last week's release of the GasBuddy 2020 Annual Thanksgiving Travel Survey found that only 35% of Americans will be taking to the roads this year, a decrease from 65% from last year, amidst some of the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices the country has seen in years.

Amtrak chief executive Bill Flynn told reporters Monday that demand at the passenger railroad for the Thanksiving travel period has "softened just a little bit over the last several days" to 20% of last year's demand, citing the CDC recommendation.

Even so, air travel remains severely depressed. Tripadvisor says that this year's figures are down from an estimated 70% of Americans traveling in 2019.

Although not as many Americans are expected to travel for Thanksgiving as usual, 56% of Americans are intending on traveling according to data from Tripadvisor.

USA numbers have alarmed authorities enough to advise that people stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who has pushed for cash refunds for skipped flights during the pandemic, said people who dropped their Thanksgiving travel are doing the right thing and following public health guidance. "Including me, for example". "All of this has prompted Americans, who had plans to travel, to reconsider spending the holiday at home". "It's nearly completely unpredictable".

Meanwhile, Thanksgiving holiday travel is beginning to peak and the CDC has held airports and airlines to no strict protocols. As demand dipped, USA gasoline stocks increased to almost 228 million bbl.

Recent survey results from Longwoods International, the Columbus-based travel research firm, found that a growing number of Americans are changing travel plans out of fear of catching or spreading the coronavirus.

There are some people still traveling however, with 77% of NJ citizens planning to drive and 18% planning to fly.

"I was going to take them to see the Macy's parade, but because of COVID I canceled the Airbnb", said Corprew.

"The dramatic surge in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths across the country is convincing more and more travelers now is the time to shelter at home", said Amir Eylon, president and CEO of Longwoods.

Health officials have urged Americans to resist temptations to let their guard down, noting help is on the way in the form of promising vaccines nearing initial United States distribution.

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