Monroe airport: Despite COVID-19 travelers still planning to go home for the holidays

·2 min read

With the holiday season upon us, people seem just as busy as usual making plans to travel for the holidays, pandemic or no pandemic.

Monroe Regional Airport director Charles Butcher said Thanksgiving travel did not slow and passengers are continuing to book flights for the holidays.

"I haven't heard anything from my people saying it has," Butcher said. "The terminals are pretty full."

According to AAA, air travel is up by 80% since last year.

MLU Director Charles Butcher said holiday travel at the airport is continuing despite the ongoing pandemic.
MLU Director Charles Butcher said holiday travel at the airport is continuing despite the ongoing pandemic.

Since the emergence of COVID-19, safety precautions have been put in place to ensure the safety of travelers, but with the detection of the omicron variant, President Joe Biden announced newer restrictions Thursday.

The restrictions included a negative COVID test for all international travelers coming to the United States within 24 hours of travel. The requirement is for all air passengers two years of age or older, according to the Center for Disease Control.

More: United Airlines will discontinue service at Monroe Regional Airport

Biden also announced an extension to existing requirements for travelers to wear masks on airplanes, buses, trains and boats through March.

According to Greyhound's website, bus passengers are not allowed to travel if they are sick, have recently tested positive for COVID-19 (even if they don't have symptoms), or have been around someone in the past 14 days who tested positive for COVID.

Greyhound passengers, including those who have been vaccinated, are also required to wear a mask while on buses, in the terminals and when boarding, even when boarding outside.

Butcher said the airport is still enforcing safety precautions regarding COVID, especially the President's mask mandate.

"The President just extended that mandate but that's really the only other thing we're having to do," Butcher said. "Nothing's really changed."

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This article originally appeared on Monroe News-Star: Has COVID affected holiday travel?

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