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Mayo doctor advises against Labor Day travel

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(KTTC) -- For the unofficial last weekend of summer, millions of Americans are once again set to travel far and wide, but Dr. Greg Poland, a Mayo Clinic expert, is fervently urging against it.

"If you get on an airplane, and you travel, and you go through airports, and you're going to restaurants and you're doing all of the other things that kind of travel involves, you're simply increasing the spread of of this virus," said Poland, the director of Mayo Clinic's vaccine research team.

Poland advises people not travel at all.

"Don't do it. I know that many people will ignore that," said Poland. "With every major travel holiday, we have seen a surge and an increase in cases and spread of the virus."

The current CDC guidance is a recommendation that Americans be vaccinated ahead of their travels. Poland highly advises masking in addition to vaccination, and says some kinds of travel are fairly safe for family.

"There are different kinds of travel, right? If you're gonna travel by your car to see grandma two hours away, and everybody's vaccinated, I don't have a problem with that," said Poland.

In spite of these concerns, the urge to travel remains strong for many.

"Sectors of tourism that did well in the summer are expecting to see that kind of traffic come through again in fall," said Explore Minnesota interim director Leann Kispert. "The rise in COVID cases and the Delta Variant are causing some decrease in consumer confidence, however, it's not putting the breaks on travel like it did a year ago."

Explore Minnesota echoed a point made by Poland; car trips and outdoor activities continue to be popular.

"Scenic driving, and outdoor recreation, and harvest-related activities are a great way to still get out and do something in a safer fashion," said Kispert.

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Noah Caplan

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