Over one million people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints over the weekend despite warnings from officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to avoid travel, particularly this time of year, due to the Chinese coronavirus.
Leaders across the nation have been urging Americans to avoid nonessential travel as the holidays near, but Americans appear to be proceeding with their plans, with over one million people passing through U.S. airport checkpoints the weekend before Christmas.
According to the AP, it “marks the first time U.S. airports have screened more than 1 million passengers since Nov. 29.”
The news comes as cases of the virus spike across the nation, with the 7-day moving average positivity rate standing at 11.2 percent — up from five percent seen early November, per the Johns Hopkins COVID Tracking Project.
The CDC has strongly urged Americans to postpone travel at this time.
“Travel can increase your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19,” the CDC stated.
The CDC has also suggested that Americans celebrate the holidays with their loved ones virtually and limit gatherings to those who live in the same household.
Dr. Anthony Fauci repeated those points last week, urging Americans to skip holiday gatherings altogether.
“This cannot be business as usual this Christmas because we’re already in a very difficult situation, and we’re going to make it worse, if we don’t do something about it,” Fauci said, noting that he will not be spending the holiday with his daughters.
The increase in travel comes as parts of the United Kingdom, including London, enter another lockdown due to what has been described as a more infectious strain of the virus. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the strain “may be up to 70 percent more transmissible” than the other, prompting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to push the Trump administration to restrict travel from Europe.