Post-holiday travelers face busy airports and roads

Local

SAN DIEGO — After a holiday weekend spent with family and friends, passengers braved busy airports to get back home.

On Sunday, AAA said its Thanksgiving travel forecasts were pretty accurate, making this year the second busiest on record behind 2019’s travel volume.

“Our flight was full to the max,” said Chase Lyons, a student at the University of San Diego.

Morgan McCord, who flew in from Canada Sunday evening, said her flight was delayed around an hour-and-a-half.

“The security line was like 45 minutes and the U.S. Customs line was pretty long too, like 30 minutes,” McCord said.

Just as travel rebounds, the new COVID-19 omicron variant is surfacing. South African health officials reported the world’s first cases of the variant while two cases were found in Canada this weekend and were a topic of discussion during McCord’s international vacation.

“Canada is much stricter, so everywhere you go, mask, show your vaccine passport everywhere you go, which is a bit different than San Diego,” she said.

Starting Nov. 29, the United States will ban visitors from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and other neighboring countries. Other nations are also imposing similar travel restrictions.

The California Public Health Department issued this statement Sunday saying in part:

“California is closely monitoring the new Omicron variant, which has not yet arrived in California or the U.S. Vaccines continue to be our best way through the pandemic by safely protecting us against severe illness from COVID-19 and its variants. We are doubling down on our vaccination and booster efforts to ensure that all Californians have access to safe, effective, and free vaccines that can prevent serious illness and death.”

Some passengers noticed increased awareness on full flights this weekend.

“I’ve been traveling a lot for the football season so it definitely seemed like today [flight attendants] were more on about wearing the masks and making sure everyone did but it seemed like our whole flight was compliant with it,” Lyons said.

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