GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Many families spent the day saying their goodbyes as loved ones departed to return back home. Families were in and out of the Gulfport-Biloxi International.
The CDC advised people to stay home for the holidays and encouraged those traveling to do so safely and follow all COVID19 guidelines in place.
“I was super happy,” said Cameron Palmer. “First time I’ve seen my family in a couple of years.”
Palmer is in the military and despite the virus, he was fortunate enough to fly home from Germany to spend Christmas and New Years with his family.
“I mean it sucks because I would like to stay longer but I have a job to do and I mean I have to go get it done so it’s just business.” Palmer said.
All travelers must follow safety measures in place at airports. There’s signage posted throughout the airport to remind people wash their hands, social distance, and wear a mask. Some travelers said it’s not much different flying now versus pre-pandemic.
”It’s obviously just like everything else a little weird everywhere you go with masks it’s just different but at the same time I felt safe.” said Hunter Myrick.
The CDC noted that travel can increase spreading, or getting COVID-19. And those who traveled for the holidays are encouraged to get tested three to five days once they make it back home.
”Yeah I plan to go, me and my mom since she works at the hospital,” said Demetri Burton traveling from Tennessee. “She’ll take me so I can get tested to help me out so I can go back to work and apply for other jobs really.”
Foot traffic to and from the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport has decreased during a peak season. The airport shared in December 2019 there was 71,173 passengers. In December 2020, that number trickled down 45 percent- reporting 39,151 passengers.
Burton and other travelers want everyone to follow the CDC’s guidelines to slow the spread of the virus.
“Please get tested and stay safe during the coronavirus so we can go back to normal as soon as possible,” Burton said.
“Make sure you stay sanitary because it’s a lot easier than you think to contract this virus and it’s a lot more deadly than you think.” said Palmer.