Bishop International Airport busy on Christmas Eve despite COVID-19 guidance against traveling

Published: Dec. 24, 2020 at 7:24 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - The coronavirus pandemic certainly did not stop travelers on Christmas Eve.

Despite a slew of requests to scale back travel this holiday to contain the spread of COVID-19, Bishop International Airport was busy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said traveling increases people’s risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, but travelers were not very concerned.

Most said they feel safe getting to or from their destination.

”I just wanted to be home for Christmas. I don’t get to come home and see my parents too often, but maybe twice a year,” said Josh Trowbridge, who is heading home to Midland from Dallas, Texas.

He is well aware of the CDC’s guidance on traveling over the holidays and the potential for the coronavirus to spread, but he feels safe knowing the precautions he’s taking and the airlines are taking.

“The biggest thing is the mask. They make it plain and clear, they say it multiple times, if you’re not going to comply with the mask requirement, you’re going to be kicked off the plane and not be allowed to fly with them again,” Trowbridge said.

Bishop airport officials say this is the busiest week they’ve had for travel since the week of Nov. 10, when planes were about 50% to 60% full. This week planes are running about 70% to 80% full.

Gabe Ivan of Pinckney wasn’t planning to catch a flight for his travel plans. He drove up to the airport to catch a deal on a rental car, which he’s planning to drive with his family to Orlando, Fla., on Christmas.

Ivan’s plans to go to Florida were last minute, so he couldn’t get a flight. But he’s determined to get out of Michigan and not just to escape to some warmer weather.

“I’m not real fearful of it,” Ivan said. “My kids want some sort of normalcy too as well. Restaurants and things are open. It looks like normal again instead of everybody being as fearful as everybody’s been.”

The CDC advises travelers to get a COVID-19 test three to five days before they leave and again three to five days after they return home. However, the agency’s overall recommendation is to avoid traveling altogether and spend the holidays at home with no visitors.

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