While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend people stay at home this holiday season to avoid spreading COVID-19, officials at San Diego International Airport released some tips for those who are traveling as this traditional major travel weekend begins.
"Traveling during the pandemic is going to be a little bit different then than previous years," said Sabrina LoPiccolo, San Diego International Airport spokesperson. "So we want to make sure everyone’s prepared and obviously the health and safety of everybody that is choosing to travel during this time is at the upmost paramount."
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 governments' 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.
"In a previous Thanksgiving holiday we would’ve expected to see about 80,000 people per day coming and going but this year we’re anticipating about 30,000 people per day coming and going," LoPiccolo said.
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. The cell phone lot is temporary closed at this time, but the airport is offering 10 minutes complementary parking in the lots.
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.