While the Omicron variant continues spread quickly In the United States, many vacationers stick to vacation plans and go to airports.
On December 22nd, the TSA reported that 2,081,297 people had passed their checkpoints. That’s 1,191,123 on the same day in 2020 and 1,937,235 in 2019. On Twitter, a TSA spokesman pointed out this was not the first time that the 2021 totals exceeded those of 2019 (see August 19). However, that December 22nd surge in travelers marks the first time more people have passed the TSA this fall or winter than on the same day in 2019.
The number of travelers in the Bay Area is likely to recover similarly. At Oakland International Airport, officials expect nearly 370,000 passengers to pass through their airport between December 3 and January 2. Oakland Airport also expects the busiest travel days during this vacation route on December 23, December 26 and January 2.
Oakland International Airport was busy on Thursday, with the number of passengers arriving at the terminal increasing during the day.
Heather Scott of Pleasanton flew to Oakland from Hawaii. She said there were only a few places available on her flight.
During her trip she dealt with the Omicron variant.
“It worries me very much,” she explained, “I have health problems, I don’t want to get it. I try to be safe myself and always wear my mask and stay two meters apart.”
Many travelers told NBC Bay Area that despite Omicron, they felt safe this holiday season.
“I believe in the vaccine, I am triple vaccinated, I got my booster shot asap and I felt really safe,” said Taher, who flew in from Houston to visit his family in Fremont.
“I’m not scared at all, I’m good, I wear my mask,” said Jacquie Shaw of Vallejo.
Shaw was one of the unfortunate passengers whose flight didn’t take off as scheduled on Thursday. She said her flight to Oklahoma was first delayed and then canceled.
Shaw said the airline booked her another flight on Friday so she has to return to the airport in hopes of a successful start.
The proliferation of Omicron may result in more cancellations during this holiday season. 112 United Airlines flights and 90 Delta Air Lines flights for December 24th have been canceled. United Airlines said in a statement, “Omicron incidents this week had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operations,” and Delta said its teams “have exhausted all options and resources – including rerouting and replacing aircraft and crews “. to cover scheduled flights. “
For those who choose to fly, there are ways to contain the risk of the spread of COVID-19. The TSA recommends staying within two meters of other people if possible and washing your hands before and after going through security.
The California Department of Health pointed out the importance of choosing the right mask. Try to find a mask for you that is a good fit that doesn’t allow any gaps over the nose or on the sides. According to CDPH, the best masks for COVID-19 prevention are N95s, KN95s, and KF94s. However, if you don’t have access to any of these types of masks, the department recommends wearing a face mask or face mask with a cloth mask over it. If you choose to wear a cloth mask, CDPH recommends wearing one with three or more layers of cloth.
The ministry also recommends postponing both domestic and international travel until you are fully vaccinated.