(WTNH) — Connecticut State Police are stepping up patrols on all highways this holiday weekend. AAA is also offering up some new safety advice on traveling during the pandemic.
With troopers stepping up highway patrols, it is an important reminder for drivers to take it easy on the roads this year, but with the pandemic still a very real threat, there are some important things to keep in mind.
AAA is asking people who are hitting the road to be extra careful this year by packing wipes, masks and hand sanitizer to make sure all passengers in the car have what they need to stay as clean as possible.
According to a recent AAA survey, about 51 million Americans said they would be traveling for the holiday. That is why troopers are stepping up patrols and plan to be out in full force.
Remember to check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for updated restrictions and recommendations along with finding out what happens after you cross state lines. You may have to quarantine.
AAA said holiday celebrations will just not be the same and a lot more preparation will be necessary.
“In the old days, it was almost serendipity where you would just get in the car and you’d drive off and have a fun time and a fun vacation,” Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast. “Those days are gone, that doesn’t happen anymore at least during this pandemic.”
For those flying, Bradley International Airport has made changes to help keep travelers safe and healthy.
“While holiday travel is not anticipated to reach the levels of prior years, we have strong safety precautions in place to ensure the continued wellbeing of our passengers and the airport community,” said Kevin A. Dillon, A.A.E., Executive Director of the CAA. “Certainly, traveling through Bradley International Airport this holiday season will not be the same this year. We ask passengers to plan ahead as much as possible and prepare themselves for what will be a different type of journey.”
Bradley reports travel is up 38% compared to previous weeks, and this is the most travel they have seen since the start of the pandemic. Compared to last year, travel at Bradley is down 65%.
The Andersen family is headed to Miami this Thanksgiving, to be somewhere a little warmer and to spend the holiday together. This is actually their first time ever traveling for Thanksgiving.
“I figured it was better to be outside where it’s warmer than outside where it is cold,” the family said. “Once we get there, we’re gonna be outside and keep to ourselves.”
News 8 also spoke to Krystyna Kazakos, a travel nurse heading to Bolivia for work. She said he was surprised to see how many people she saw at the airport early this morning.
Kazakos said, “Makes you wonder. As long as everyone’s safe, then I guess it’ll be fine, but you always worry, you know?”
Here are the safety precautions flight passengers can expect:
- Face Covering Mandate
- For everyone’s safety, all passengers, employees and visitors are required to wear face coverings while at the airport.
- Passengers are reminded to bring a face covering with them when traveling.
- Enhanced Cleaning and Safety Measures
- A significant emphasis has been placed on added cleaning protocols in high-touchpoint areas of the terminal. Plexiglass shield barriers and physical distancing reminders are also in place.
- Passengers are asked to maintain a safe physical distance from other individuals as much as possible while in the terminal.
- On-Site COVID-19 Testing Availability
- On-site COVID-19 testing is available in baggage claim for those wishing to utilize the service.
- Passengers interested in taking a test after their arrival at the airport, can find more information on the airport’s website and are strongly encouraged to pre-register through the lab administering the testing.
- Adjustments to Parking Operations
- In response to current demand, parking at the airport has been consolidated, with parking available in the garage at a special, reduced daily rate of $8.
- Passengers can learn more on this website.
- Dining and Shopping Amenities
- To ensure everyone’s wellbeing, only a select number of concession and retail locations are currently open and those open are operating with new safety measures in place.
- Passengers can find more information about the status of certain restaurants/shops on the airport’s website.
Still, as coronavirus numbers continue to climb here in Connecticut and across the country, health officials are asking folks to stay at home this year and keep those gatherings small.