TSA: This has been the busiest travel week since start of pandemic


WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — While Gov. Gina Raimondo is urging Rhode Islanders to only celebrate Thanksgiving with the people they live with, many are still planning trips home.

Greeting travelers at T.F. Green Airport are National Guard members passing out quarantine and testing instructions.

Even though state leaders are asking residents to stay home, travelers at the airport said they don’t always get this opportunity to be with family.

“I haven’t seen my mom in about five years,” Florida resident Junior Tiburcio said. “She is a little sick, so we took the chance and made the trip.”

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the past weekend was the busiest for travel since the pandemic began. However, many people seem to be following the warnings, with only half the number of people screened nationwide compared to this time last year.

“I am picking up my boyfriend,” said Madyson Coers of Connecticut. “He is in the military, so I haven’t seen him in a while.”

Amtrak says Thanksgiving is their busiest time of year. Spokesperson Jason Abrams tells 12 News they are expecting just 20% ridership compared to last year.

“We have a very strong mask or face covering requirement. On board our trains we are recirculating fresh air every four to five minutes,” Abrams said. “We want people to know if our trains are running and you are going to be taking them, you should feel safe.”

Abrams added the Providence station is one of their busiest due to the many nearby colleges and universities.

The CDC posted safety recommendations on Monday for those still planning to travel. The agency suggests keeping an eye on the current travel restrictions, getting a flu shot, wearing a mask and staying six feet apart when around people you don’t live with.

“We’ve been tested several times back in Florida,” Tiburcio added.

AAA expects air travel will be down nearly 50% from previous years.

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