May 29, 2023


Just Do Travel

Holiday traveling picks up amid omicron variant spread

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) — The fast spread of the coronavirus omicron variant is not slowing down holiday travel.

In fact, the American Automobile Association says traveling during this holiday season is expected to be the third busiest year. The travel agency also says it expects 37 percent more people to travel compared to 2020.

Many of those travelers are arriving at the San Diego International Airport. For some, it was the first time they boarded a plane since before the pandemic.

“It’s been almost three years,“ said Taryn Grugeo, traveler.

Grugeo traveled from Georgia and says she worried about boarding her flight because of the new variant.

“I was like what’s going to happen if I get it—like what am I going to do? I might not be able to work. I might lose my job if I don’t.”

Grugeo says seeing her dad when she landed made it all worth it.

“I almost wanted to cry.”

She also says she will be testing herself for the virus before she heads back home.

For travelers who need tests, the airport has a testing center inside.

“Not only do we do testing for travel clearance-wise or just international, but we have like Hawaii for instance that they do require testing or even cruise ships or concerts,” said Mauricio Moreno, medical assistant.

Moreno and the testing team have seen an uptick of travelers needing tests over the last week.

“We went from 80 [tests] to now 160 [tests] per day and the numbers keep steadily increasing,” he said.

If you do plan on flying out of San Diego international, the airport reminds travelers to mask up, arrive two hours before their flights, and get rid of any liquids they may have.