NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Local officials, the CDC, and other health organizations are urging people not to travel for Thanksgiving, but there are still people in the airports and on the streets.
As Alice Gainer of CBS2 reports, the license plates at the Vince Lombardi rest stop along the New Jersey Turnpike come from all over the world: Iowa, Virginia, North Carolina and Texas. But people told Gainer the streets aren’t as crowded as they thought, even though the sky turns out to be busier than predicted.
The volume on the streets had dropped noticeably on Wednesday, which is usually an escape day.
“No parking yet, but it’s about what we expected,” said Ann Taylor, who was driving from Virginia.
More: CDC Issues Warning, Guidelines for Thanksgiving Travelers
“It was pretty empty,” said one Maryland student. The students were on their way to Massachusetts to see the family.
“I’m going to do a COVID test. Yes, I will quarantine, “said one.
AAA initially forecast only about five million fewer travelers across the country this year.
“We made our forecasts in mid-October and the disease has come back ever since,” said AAA’s Robert Sinclair. “We did another survey in New Jersey about 10 days ago and 88% said they wouldn’t travel at all. In the last month in particular, the attitude has fundamentally changed. “
It’s a different story over at the airports. According to the AAA, more people are flying than expected.
“I want to see my son, but I’ve taken every precaution, I’ve got my mask,” said Maria Garcia, a Fordham resident.
More: AAA expects 50 million to travel for Thanksgiving, despite requests from officials to limit the number of meetings and stay home
“You tell Americans one thing, they will do the other thing,” said another traveler.
But keeping the vacation only for the immediate family, Dias told a man he would not do it.
“I think it’s perfectly safe,” he said.
The man told Dias he was going to Miami for a party with 20+ people.
“It’s going to be a big gathering,” he said. “Who is going to eat Thanksgiving in their own house, wear masks, and socialize? I don’t think anyone will. “
More: Doctor Explains Why Avoid Thanksgiving and Christmas Meetings: “Not Worth the Risk”
“You take these things into account. But at the same time I mean the family of the family, and nothing prevents me from seeing my family, ”said one traveler.
If so, officials expect the COVID-19 numbers to continue to rise.
“The increase in air traffic – we expect a significant increase. When do you see it? You will see it about 10 days after Thanksgiving, ”said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
When you travel, make sure you understand the restrictions in each state.
COURTESY NOTICE CHECKPOINT / VEHICLE STOP CORRIDOR: Deputy Sheriffs will conduct quarantine checkpoints / vehicle stops near the Lincoln & Holland Tunnels and the Common Carrier Checkpoint W 34 & 11th Ave in NYC today. pic.twitter.com/uXCOjVtTt6
– NYC SHERIFF (@NYCSHERIFF) November 25, 2020
The New York Sheriff’s office says checkpoints were set up Wednesday to screen travelers near the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, as well as on 34th Street and 11th Avenue.
Carly Owens, a junior college student, plans to fly home by January.
“I’ll do my best to stay away from my family and I won’t see anyone but my parents for the first two weeks,” Owens said.
Flyers can find TSA checkpoints with added COVID protection, including hard acrylic barriers, officers in PPE, and new ID and pocket scanners that reduce touchpoints.
“There are fewer points of contact between a passenger and an officer. In addition, the security is much better, ”said TSA administrator David Pekoske. “Every technology we use offers a significant security improvement.”
And with millions now working remotely, COVID can change as people fly, leave well before vacation, and stay longer.
“We expect high numbers on Sunday too,” said Pekoske.
More: COVID In New York: Staten Island reopens coronavirus field hospital that has not been used since the peak of the pandemic
Health officials urge people who insist on travel to get tested.
Long lines formed outside of the proving grounds before Thanksgiving across the three-state area. A West Village resident said he had looked far and wide for the shortest one.
“My mom told me it took two hours to take a test, but here it takes 15 minutes. So we say, “Oh, I’m coming over here, sign up,” he said to CBS2.
Staten Island has two free test sites in the cinema car parks. This is because the southern half of the island has been designated as an orange zone.
“I think some people don’t care. That’s the problem, ”said one resident.
More: New restrictions apply to outdoor gatherings in New Jersey
Cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in New Jersey.
On November 1, 1,110 people were hospitalized in the state with COVID-19. There are now more than 2,700.
“We mostly ask people to do the right thing behind closed doors. Celebrate only with your immediate family and please don’t do it with grandma and grandpa, ”said Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday.
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