TSA is bracing for more Americans to push ahead with holiday travel plans despite CDC warnings

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Americans are expected to continue with their travel plans for the Christmas holiday with more than a million air passengers per day anticipated for several days during the holiday period, David Pekoske, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, said during an aviation event Tuesday.

Americans plan to travel despite Center for Disease Control advice to stay at home and celebrate with the people they live with.

Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert, said that the Christmas holiday season could pose greater risks than Thanksgiving when it comes to spreading the coronavirus, and urged Americans to double down on measures such as wearing masks, avoiding crowds and social distancing.

Despite Pekoske’s forecast, passenger traffic has fallen steadily since Thanksgiving as the country faces a surge in new infections. In the past seven days through Monday, airlines carried only 33.5% of passengers compared to the equivalent week in 2019, or an average of about 725,000 a day. The passenger numbers are the lowest seven-day average since late September, according to TSA data.

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