SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – At least 109 million Americans are set to travel this week for the holidays, despite COVID-19 cases reaching record highs.
Millions are planning to go home for their traditional holiday gatherings. This comes at a tough time in the pandemic, new cases reaching all time highs. And this holiday season, the delta and omicron variants are expected to make matters worse.
Freddie Ortiz of Springfield is concerned about rise in cases, telling 22News, “I’m scared, people are saying its getting stronger. Especially for my mom and my dad. They are very old. I’m very worried about it man.”
Despite increased COVID concerns, holiday travel is expected to soar this year. More than 100 million people are expected to hit the roads, and three times more people will travel by plane than 2020. The hope is that the federal mask mandate for planes, trains, and buses limits the spread of the variants.
Tammy Niedermeier, a local medical professional, gave her take on the increased travel level, “They will all be packed. I don’t believe there are any limits on them now. Be safe wear your mask, don’t be the person who refuses.”
Expect train stations to be busy this holiday season. Three times the number of people will be taking a train or bus than this time last year. There are worse times to travel too, so be careful when you buy your tickets. According to AAA, the worst time to travel on December 23rd is from 12 to 6pm and Christmas Eve from 2 to 6pm.