Agency Advises Against Holiday Travel Amid COVID Surge — CDC Cancels Thanksgiving

Ross Houston
November 21, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving this year in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

"CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving period", Henry Walke, a CDC doctor working on the pandemic, told reporters.

The CDC said more than 1 million virus cases were reported across the country in the last seven days. "I think from an individual household level, what's at stake is the increased chance of one of your loved ones becoming sick, being hospitalized and dying", Walke said.

For those not traveling but still planning to attend a gathering, health officials recommend that it be with only members of their immediate household - or those who have been living together already for at least two weeks.

"It is the right advice". According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the USA saw its highest daily death toll in more than six months, with at least 1,707 fatalities being reported on Tuesday.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are typically the busiest times of year for domestic travel as Americans gather with friends and family around the country. Shares in airlines and hotel companies have plummeted since the outbreak began as government officials have advised against unnecessary travel.

Up to 50 million Americans are expected to travel for Thanksgiving, compared to 55 million in 2019, according to the American Automobile Association.

With the CDC recommendations, it expects that number now to be even lower.

United Airlines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines each said on Thursday that bookings were weakening due to the spike in COVID-19 cases, and United said cancellations were rising.

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