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HOLIDAY TRAVEL: Even with safety measures in place, public health officials advise no travel

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Do not travel. That is the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this Thanksgiving,
leaving many families in a tough spot.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has said to keep your Thanksgiving plans to just your immediate family, even though this is usually one of the biggest travel holidays of the year.

We all know the travel industry has been hit hard since the beginning pandemic and even though there are safety measures in place,
state health officials are advising people not travel.

Rochester International Airport (RST) Communications Director Tiana O'Connor

Rochester International Airport (RST) Communications Director Tiana O'Connor says the airline industry has been impacted tremendously due to COVID-19.

"We know that circumstances and conditions and guidelines change almost daily and that can impact people changing their travel plans all the way up until the last minute," O'Connor said.

In October alone, O'Connor said RST had 12,000 passengers utilizing the airport. That's about 35% of what RST saw the year prior.

As cases in the state continue to rise, we went looking for answers on whether people are travelling this Thanksgiving.

Rochester resident Halina Woroncow

"I don't think it's safe and responsible for any of us to be travelling to honest," Rochester resident Halina Woroncow said. "There's basically gonna be no travel for us during this holiday season partly because our relatives live in town and we're not gonna see them for health reasons," Rochester resident Kent Rehfeldt said.

Rochester resident Kent Rehfeldt

While some are hunkering down and keep it small, O'Connor said RST has safety precautions in place.

"We have enhanced cleaning measures. There's plenty of space for distancing within the airport. There's plexiglass barriers up at all of the point-to-point contact operations," O'Connor said.

Rochester resident, Graham Hopkins

"I would feel comfortable being on a plane personally. I'm not gonna put myself in that situation because there's no need for me to, my family is here and I can just stay home," Rochester resident, Graham Hopkins said.

Whether you decide to travel or stay, safety is the main objective.

"If we can't be together for Thanksgiving this year, Let's try to be there together next year," Woroncow said.

Ubah Ali

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