What you should know before flying in San Diego for Thanksgiving

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SAN DIEGO – The San Diego International Airport is preparing for an influx of Thanksgiving travelers.

“We are increasing our cleaning on high-touch points,” airport spokeswoman Sabrina LoPiccolo said. “We also have social distancing in place. We have floor decal marks that signify keeping that safe distance.”

Thanksgiving is notorious for being one of the busiest travel weeks of the year. Prior to COVID-19, nearly 80,000 people were coming in and out of the airport each day for the turkey holiday.

“Right now, we’re down about 67%, which is definitely better than what we saw in April when we were down 95%,” LoPiccolo said. “Again, we definitely think that there’s going to be more people traveling.”

Ahead of the holiday, the airport has implemented a number of health and safety policies to ease travelers’ concerns.

They include:

  • Masks are required to be worn on airport property. Face coverings are available to travelers at airport information desks and in vending machines in the terminals;
  • Travelers are encouraged to wash their hands frequently, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth, maintain social distancing and conduct a temperature check prior to arriving;
  • Airport officials have requested travelers give themselves “preferably two hours” to get through security line to their gate;
  • Rental car buses are running at a reduced capacity due to social distancing rules;
  • Parking is temporarily closed at the Cell Phone Lot, Long Term Lot and Curbside Valet Terminal 1 and 2. Open lots include the Terminal 1 Parking Lot, the Terminal 2 Parking Lot on McCain Road and the Terminal 2 Parking Plaza.

Some travelers Wednesday said they knew what to expect from the experience.

“Everybody was aware of keeping a distance and everybody had their mask on,” said David Graciano, who landed back home in San Diego. “I felt very comfortable.”

Shane Grovhough just touched down after being on a work trip for five weeks. He’s home for 10 days before catching another flight out for business. That span of time is less than the 14 days Gov. Gavin Newsom requests people self-quarantine when traveling outside the state or country.

“Absolutely not, I think it’s ridiculous,” Grovhough said. “We’ve got to get society back to where it needs to be.”

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