ATLANTA — Planes, trains, and cars – they’re all getting ready for the rush of the Labor Day weekend.
Travel is expected to start in earnest today, with roads likely to be packed with more people choosing to drive amid the ongoing pandemic. Others who take to the skies are headed to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where about 1.3 million people are expected to pass through over the holiday weekend.
But the CDC has a message for those traveling this Labor Day, asking everyone who isn’t vaccinated to avoid travel altogether.
Every year AAA puts out a travel prediction report, and this year they're predicting 3.5 million people are going to fly this weekend. That’s nearly pre-pandemic levels, and far exceeds last year's count of about 1 million people
That comes amidst one of the highest COVID surges of the pandemic.
Right now the U.S. is surpassing an average of 160,000 new cases a day. The CDC warns if you're unvaccinated you shouldn’t leave home, period. With all the expected travel, anyone not protected by the shot is at high risk.
"Given where we are with disease transmission right now we would say that people need to take these risks into their own consideration as they think about traveling,“ CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said this week.
One of the big concerns is children – most are still not eligible for the vaccines, and many are contracting COVID. Roughly 200,000 tested positive last week in the U.S., five times higher than this time last month.
And for those who are vaccinated, the CDC stills urges caution and asks everyone traveling to please wear a mask at all times.
11Alive’s Savannah Levins was at the airport Thursday, and reports most everyone was abiding by the mask guidance.