San Diego International Airport shares COVID-19 travel safety advice
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Millions of Americans are traveling during Christmas and New Year’s, despite pleas from public health experts that they stay home to avoid fueling the raging coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 320,000 nationwide.
More than 5 million people passed through the nation’s airport security checkpoints between Friday and Tuesday, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
That is down around 60% from the same time last year. But it amounts to around a million passengers per day, or about what the U.S. saw in the days leading up to Thanksgiving when some Americans likewise disregarded warnings and ended up contributing to the nationwide surge.
Senior Communications Specialist with the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority says people can travel safely by being well-prepared for their trip.
Nicole Hll joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss some safety tips.
According to the airport guidance, all travelers should practice preventative health measures such as washing hands often, avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth, social distancing at least 6 feet from others, covering coughs and sneezes, and monitoring daily health by conducting a temperature check prior to arriving at the airport. The California Department of Public Health requires all individuals to wear a face-covering while on airport property. Face coverings are available at airport information desks, concessionaires, and vending machines located in the terminals.
Travelers should have a clear understanding of state, local, and territorial government’s travel restrictions for wherever they are headed, including testing requirements, stay-at-home orders and quarantine requirements.
Airlines have implemented COVID-19 health and safety measures for check-in, boarding, and while on the plane. Passengers should understand the expectations of the specific airline they are using prior to arriving at the airport.
Transportation Security Administration security checkpoints are open and all passengers are required to go through screening. The San Diego Airport Authority encourages travelers to leave ample time, preferably two hours, to get through security and to their gate.
Rental Car Center buses require social distancing and therefore are running at reduced capacity. Plan ahead and leave ample time to accommodate longer shuttle wait times. The trolley provides service to the terminals at Palm Street on the Rental Car Center shuttles. The MTS 992 bus is another public transportation option.
Rideshare companies, taxis, and other transportation modes have implemented their own health and safety measures. Travelers should review their policies so they can safely comply with any health and safety requirements. There is no inter-terminal shuttle service during this time.
Some shops and restaurants are open to provide travel necessities, meals, snacks, and more, however, availability and hours may vary. Dining facilities are open and patrons must comply with social distancing requirements.
San Diego International Airport has made modifications, including increased cleaning of high touch points, electrostatic spraying, signage on preventive health measures, floor decals and seat separation signage to queue six-foot social distance, hand sanitizer stations, Plexiglas sneeze guards in certain public spaces and facial coverings required on all airport property.