CDC releases holiday travel guidelines as Gainesville Regional Airport sees more travelers

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – For the second year in a row, the nation will be celebrating the holidays during a pandemic and the CDC is still recommending travelers to social distance and mask up regardless of your vaccination status.

Getting closer to loved ones is on the minds of many this holiday season.

“I’m planning to move up to Minnesota, in part because my mom is still up there,” traveler Christine Bruels said.

Related story: CDC releases guidelines for holiday travel

The CDC still requires masks on public transportation for everyone and if you aren’t vaccinated they say wait to travel until you get the shot.

The guidelines bring Christine Bruels and Al Rogers some comfort.

“We’re both very strong advocates of getting vaccinated wearing masks and all the precautions,” Rogers explained.

Rogers said he would feel even more safe with another kind of mandate.

“If it were mandated to travel, vaccines I’m talking about, I would be in favor of that,” Rogers added.

While they believe vaccines should be mandatory when getting on a flight, another traveler, Kelsea Wright, who said they like the CDC guidelines just the way they are.

“Mask should be required for the people,” Wright said. “Vaccination it’s a choice of that person whether they want to be vaccinated or not.”

In 2020, Gainesville Regional Airport had almost 2,400 check-ins around this time last year, compared to the nearly 4,700 travelers just two weeks ago.

The number from this year is still lower than 2019, pre-pandemic.

Public relations manager for the airport, Erin Porter, said their new terminal has certainly helped.

“It might be discouraging to some but we’re happy to be operating,” Porters said. “I’ve seen more people using GNV who might not have before.”

She is optimistic that this holiday season will be busy for them and a safe one for travelers.

For more information on the new guidelines, click here.

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