CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The day before Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest days of the year for air travel. This holiday season, flight bookings are down by 60 percent from this time last year as fears of the virus are keeping many would-be fliers at home.
Most major airlines are waiving flight changes for those who do need make some last-minute adjustments.
Travelers may take up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer onboard, which is up from the normal 3.4 oz. normally allowed. Social-distancing is highly encouraged as much as possible, and masks are required on planes and in airports.
No travel restrictions are in place for North Carolina and visitors do not have to quarantine upon arrival.
“State health officials, however, highly encourage visitors and residents alike to practice social distancing of at least 6 feet as well as frequent handwashing and to stay at home if they are not feeling well or have symptoms of COVID-19,” North Carolina officials say. “Under an executive order, cloth face coverings are required for anyone in public when physical distancing of 6 feet is not possible.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidelines for the Thanksgiving holiday last week. The organization is advising people not to travel to limit the potential spread of the coronavirus.
An excerpt from CDC.gov reads: “Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.”
Travelers at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport can pick up a free mask at the Visitor Info Center on the lower level or at any TSA checkpoint podium.
Many may have chosen to go by car instead of by a plane. AAA of the Carolinas estimates that more than 1.4 million drivers will be on the roads this week traveling for Thanksgiving.
Drivers also need to be thinking about seatbelts. Monday marks the beginning of Click It or Ticket in North Carolina. It also means heavier enforcement of speeding and drunk driving. Violators of North Carolina’s seat belt law are fined $179; if a passenger under 15 is not properly restrained there’s a $263 fine.
The state DOT has suspended most road work for this week to keep traffic moving. The work along interstates, as well as U.S. and key N.C. routes is expected to shut down from the morning of Nov. 24 through the evening of Nov. 30. There are some exceptions where construction conditions make it unsafe to open all lanes. This includes some locations where lanes are under construction or where a bridge is being replaced. Work that does not impact travel lanes can continue for some projects.
Click here for the Charlotte-area Thanksgiving weather forecast