In years past, we would already be seeing lines at airports and crowded terminals, and aerial shots of traffic jams clogging major highways.

But coronavirus cases are spiking nationally, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending against Thanksgiving travel. While many Americans will heed that advice, up to 50 million may still hit the roads or take to the skies next week to travel for the holiday, according to AAA Travel estimates. 

For those that are choosing to travel, I implore you to take part in the shared responsibility of protecting public health. Please, no matter where or how you are traveling this year for the holidays, be smart: wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and stay home if you are feeling sick. 

I know we’re all feeling the crush of “pandemic fatigue.” It’s been a long eight months, and many of us are ready for a sliver of normalcy. But now is not the time to let our guard down and relax our personal standards for health and safety. The more vigilant we all remain, the sooner this crisis will be in the rearview mirror; the more complacent we become, the longer the pandemic will grind on.

Ahead of the holiday travel season, U.S. Travel, together with our medical advisors, updated the “Travel in the New Normal” health and safety guidance to reflect evidence gathered about COVID-19 since the document was first released in May. The updated guidance was also central to a Thursday U.S. Travel press call in which I encouraged Americans to adhere to healthy and safe travel practices during the holiday season. Please click here and here to see press clips amplifying our message.

Beyond the strong emphasis on mask-wearing, other practical advice for travelers in the updated guidance includes:

  • Decide if you can travel safely. Do not travel if you are sick or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Get an annual flu vaccine.
  • Before travel, check information about your destination. Check health departments for local requirements and up-to-date travel information about your destination.
  • Practice physical distancing. Stay six feet from those who do not live with you, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

To all of our friends and members around the country, I encourage you to remain vigilant in your healthy travel practices, and wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

Please click here to see the full guidance, and click here to see U.S. Travel’s holiday-themed Travel Confidently social media guide.