January 19, 2021

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Just Do Travel

Californians return home from holiday travel amid COVID-19 surge

4 min read

Despite California’s COVID-19 travel advisory, many traveled home after spending the holidays with family and friends. At Sacramento International Airport, officials expected Sunday, Dec. 27, to be one of the busiest travel days as people returned from their trips. But travelers said what is traditionally one of the busiest travel times of the year was quiet.“I was really shocked,” said Molly Hart, whose daughter was catching a flight. “In the parking lot, I got a front-row parking spot. It was pretty easy. I was really surprised.”Others said airports haven’t been crowded.“It’s been nice,” said Aaron Christian, who was heading home to Seattle. “It’s been not crowded. Everything’s easy. I have no complaints whatsoever.”Health officials and doctors pleaded with people to stay home this year as COVID-19 cases spike across the country. Hospitals in California are facing difficult decisions about which services to postpone amid a surge in COVID-19 patients. According to AAA, one in four Americans were still likely to travel, a nearly 30% drop, compared to last year. On the road, auto travel was expected to drop by at least 25%, according to AAA, but it was still the top choice for people getting around this year.“We made sure we had Lysol, sanitizer and extra masks, just in case,” Hart said. For Hart and her daughter, the trip was a necessity.“We wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t for this kind of situation,” she said.Hart’s sister is about to have a baby. Her daughter is flying to help.“My sister doesn’t have any help with my niece,” Hart said. “She needs a babysitter while she and my brother-in-law are in the hospital.”For others, opting to travel against health official’s warning was a personal decision.“This is where my family is and my wife’s family,” Christian said. “We wanted to see the kids and the grandkids.”Doctors and health care professionals warned travelers for weeks, saying getting together with friends and family over the holidays could lead to another surge in COVID-19 cases and put even more strain on hospitals.At Sacramento International Airport, there were 9,900 outbound passengers on Saturday and just under 10,800 on Sunday — the highest single-day passenger count seen at SMF since March, according to airport spokesperson Samantha Mott.

Despite California’s COVID-19 travel advisory, many traveled home after spending the holidays with family and friends.

At Sacramento International Airport, officials expected Sunday, Dec. 27, to be one of the busiest travel days as people returned from their trips. But travelers said what is traditionally one of the busiest travel times of the year was quiet.

“I was really shocked,” said Molly Hart, whose daughter was catching a flight. “In the parking lot, I got a front-row parking spot. It was pretty easy. I was really surprised.”

Others said airports haven’t been crowded.

“It’s been nice,” said Aaron Christian, who was heading home to Seattle. “It’s been not crowded. Everything’s easy. I have no complaints whatsoever.”

Health officials and doctors pleaded with people to stay home this year as COVID-19 cases spike across the country. Hospitals in California are facing difficult decisions about which services to postpone amid a surge in COVID-19 patients.

According to AAA, one in four Americans were still likely to travel, a nearly 30% drop, compared to last year. On the road, auto travel was expected to drop by at least 25%, according to AAA, but it was still the top choice for people getting around this year.

“We made sure we had Lysol, sanitizer and extra masks, just in case,” Hart said.

For Hart and her daughter, the trip was a necessity.

“We wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t for this kind of situation,” she said.

Hart’s sister is about to have a baby. Her daughter is flying to help.

“My sister doesn’t have any help with my niece,” Hart said. “She needs a babysitter while she and my brother-in-law are in the hospital.”

For others, opting to travel against health official’s warning was a personal decision.

“This is where my family is and my wife’s family,” Christian said. “We wanted to see the kids and the grandkids.”

Doctors and health care professionals warned travelers for weeks, saying getting together with friends and family over the holidays could lead to another surge in COVID-19 cases and put even more strain on hospitals.

At Sacramento International Airport, there were 9,900 outbound passengers on Saturday and just under 10,800 on Sunday — the highest single-day passenger count seen at SMF since March, according to airport spokesperson Samantha Mott.