Thanksgiving air travel takes off despite rising COVID-19 cases, CDC warning

November 22, 2020 

More than two million people flocked to US airports this weekend ahead of Thanksgiving -- despite health officials urging Americans to nix their travel holiday travel plans.

There were 1,019,836 passengers who passed through airport security checkpoints Friday, followed by another 984,369 on Saturday, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

The figure was still only around 42 percent of the number of travelers who were screened last year on the same dates, data shows.

But the weekend was one of the busiest for airports since the pandemic began.

Friday's traffic marked the second-highest number of people traveling in the skies since March -- only topped by the 1.03 million passengers on Oct. 18.

The rush of travelers comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving.

"The tragedy that could happen is that one of your family members, from coming together in this family gathering actually could end up being hospitalized and severely ill and die. CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving period," the agency's COVID-19 incident manager, Dr. Henry Walke, said.

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