December 8, 2020 12:45 PM, EST

More Than a Million Americans Will Travel Over Christmas, TSA Says

Travelers wearing protective masks check in at San Francisco International Airport on Nov. 24.Travelers wearing protective masks check in at San Francisco International Airport on Nov. 24. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News)

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Americans are expected to continue with their travel plans for the Christmas holiday with more than a million air passengers anticipated for the balance of December and into January for the holiday, David Pekoske, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, said during an aviation event Dec. 8.

Americans plan to travel despite Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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.

RELATED: Air Travel Rises to Post-Pandemic High Despite US Warning

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 Dec. 7, 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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