WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut families are taking to the skies this Christmas Eve despite warnings to stay home. Officials fear Christmas could cause a bigger spike than Thanksgiving.

RELATED: Governor and Yale doctor urging residents to stay home ahead of holiday travel rush

There are nearly 20 outgoing flights at Bradley International Airport on Christmas Eve and people News 8 caught up with said they expect to stay safe so long as they keep their masks on and keep sanitizer nearby.

The spirit at Bradley is one of joy on Christmas Eve despite pleas from federal and state officials to stay home with immediate family.

The Saunders of Suffield are off to Orlando.

Karen Saunders said, “We don’t really go anywhere per se and we’re not going anywhere once we get to Florida – we’re just going to my sister’s house. Since we’ve all been tested and since we’re going to test when we get there, we think it’s going to be fine.”

“As long as everyone listens to the guidelines given we’ll all be just fine,” she added.

Airport officials say travel this Christmas is down 58% compared to 2019. Nationally, TSA has screened more than 5 million passengers since Friday — A record during the pandemic.

Governor Ned Lamont says more people are traveling in and out of New England than over Thanksgiving. He’s urging them to test for COVID and quarantine.

Ki Monet is off to be with family in Houston and planning to test upon return.

Monet said, “I have to share my results with my employer to make sure I did not contract Covid-19. Because Texas is one of the higher states.”

Nearby New York City taking action against travelers arriving from the UK, where a new strain of Covid is spreading. The mayor is enforcing a mandatory quarantine or a thousand dollar fine.

Meanwhile, Pfizer announced a deal to provide 100 million more doses of its vaccine by July. Scientists say the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work against the new strain.

Whether you’re traveling or staying put, Lamont’s holiday message is the same: “It’s been a heck of a year, hasn’t it. We wish you all the very best for Christmas and this holiday season.”