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SLO Airport seeing fairly full flights ahead of Thanksgiving

Airport testing digital identity, more touchless options
Posted at 6:14 PM, Nov 18, 2020

It’s one week until what typically is the busiest travel day of the year, but AAA is predicting many people will be staying put this Thanksgiving due to the pandemic.

“We definitely won’t have more than immediate family,” said Woodland Hills resident Michael Stein. Wife Kelly added, “We were talking about adding another group on, but we’re not gonna do it, it’s just not worth it."

AAA is predicting at least a 10 percent drop in travel this Thanksgiving holiday, estimating fewer travelers on the roads and in the airports, but the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport is still expecting lots of traffic over the next few days.

“We’re expecting some pretty full flights this weekend, starting this weekend, through next week. Most of what we’re seeing is the leisure travel, the people traveling to go have fun or see family, that type of thing,” said SLO airport Deputy Director Craig Piper.

He says he expects outbound flights to be about 80 percent full. Business travel is down, but Piper says people are still getting on planes at a high rate despite the pandemic.

When it comes to spending time with family during the holidays, San Luis Obispo County Public Health officials are reminding people to not let their guard down, especially as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

“Avoid gatherings of more than three households, avoid non-essential travel and stay close to home as much as possible,” said San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer Penny Borenstein.

She says there’s been a backlog because more people are getting tested as Thanksgiving approaches.

For people not experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms or those who have not been exposed to anyone with the virus, Borenstein is advising people to get tested through a self-swab exam as there are no available appointments at county testing sites until next week.

For more information on testing in San Luis Obispo County, click here.

For information on testing in Santa Barbara County, click here.