By MARY SMITH
ATLANTA (WGCL) — As the COVID cases rise, holiday travel increases as well.
Between Dec. 20 and Jan. 4, about 3.7 million people are expected to travel through Atlanta’s airport, according to an airport media release.
“We are, based on our projections, at the same level that we expected to see in 2019 pre COVID. We were projecting 3.7 million passengers for the holiday period for December 20th to January 4th. In 2019, it was the same number. 3.7 million passengers for the same period,” said Andy Gobeil, Director of Communications for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
“We’re going to expect about 256,000 passengers coming through, from or to Atlanta today but that’s not the busiest day. Next week — Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be just as busy,” said Gobeil Thursday.
As the day progressed Thursday, Atlanta’s airport became even busier but passengers told us they expected it to be worse.
“I wouldn’t say a handful of people, a little more than a handful but not as busy as I expected,” said one woman who dropped off a friend at the North Domestic Terminal.
As suitcases continued rolling to their destinations, concerns are growing over the new, more contagious COVID Omicron variant. Some health experts are concerned numbers might continue to head in the wrong direction, following holiday gatherings.
“I feel like as long as we exercise wearing our masks of course and practice safe distancing, and just be respectful to each other, then we’ll be okay,” said another woman we spoke with at the airport Thursday.
Masks remain mandatory at Hartsfield-Jackson and TSA’s mask mandate continues through mid-March.
Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.