The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending against travel for Thanksgiving.
During a press briefing Thursday, Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, said the agency is “recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving period.”
“The tragedy that could happen is that one of your family members from coming to this family gathering and they could end up severely ill, hospitalized or dying. And we don’t want that to happen,” he said. “These times are tough, it’s been a long outbreak, almost 11 months or and we understand people are tired.”
He continued: “We understand that people want to see their family and relatives and do it as they’ve always done it. But this year we’re asking them to limit their travel.”
Walke added that Americans who do decide to travel for the holiday should do so “as safely as possible by following the same recommendations for everyday living.”
The CDC’s warning is the latest and most high profile about the risks of traveling as coronavirus cases surge across the country.
Officials in states including California and Illinois have urged residents to avoid nonessential travel even as airlines tout holiday fare deals.
On Wednesday, Los Angeles International Airport took the unusual step of issuing advice with its annual holiday travel tips.
“If you do not have to travel for the holidays, don’t,’’ the airport said in a tweet.
As recently as a few weeks ago, airlines said holiday bookings are relatively strong despite the spike in cases. In the past week, though, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines have warned about a falloff in bookings and increase in cancellations.
Contributing: Dawn Gilbertson