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'Still Wanted To Enjoy The Holiday': Thousands Traveling Through LAX For Thanksgiving Plans Despite Surging COVID-19 Cases

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- It's one of the toughest questions people are asking themselves this holiday season: to stay home, or to see family and friends?

While everyone is being urged to stay home for Thanksgiving, some are still weighing the risk.

"You're almost on a fence of what you should do," said Christy Spotz, a traveler at LAX.

As COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S., Christy said it's a risk she was willing to take. She landed at LAX on Wednesday from Denver to see family.

"Family might not be around for very long so it's like you want to see that family but the same thing too, they may not be around for long, so you don't want to risk getting them sick," she said. "So it's very hard."

For many travelers, Thanksgiving may be the first trip on a plane since the beginning of the pandemic.

Mila Rehik said she was hesitant to hop on her flight to Houston. But, she said she's been tested for COVID-19 and is taking safety measures seriously.

"I'm a little nervous, but we trust that everyone at the airport is taking the precautions that need to be taken," she said.

Starting Wednesday, travelers arriving at LAX and Van Nuys airports, as well as Union Station, have to sign a form acknowledging the state's recommended 14-day quarantine period.

Signs are posted at baggage claim, reminding those leaving the airport.

"They recommend that we quarantine for 14 days but they wouldn't let us fly without signing that so we didn't have a choice really to be honest," said traveler Brian Sperber.

LAX reports that airlines have cut flights nearly in half compared to last year's Thanksgiving holiday period. But, thousands still plan to travel.

"You know we are just taking precautions, wearing masks, social distancing and just being careful and we still wanted to enjoy the holiday," said traveler Elia Russoniello.

Those arriving at LAX who do not fill out the travel form could face a fine of up to $500.


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