Sunport is discouraging travel for Thanksgiving

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Thanksgiving is about a week away and while people are encouraged to stay home, Triple-A still estimates about 2.4 million people will travel by plane for the Thanksgiving holiday. For people coming into the Albuquerque International Sunport next week, it’s likely they’re coming to see family over the holiday and won’t be in the state for two weeks to quarantine first. The Sunport said it is a concern.

“I think we’ve all heard from both the mayor and the governor that there are enforcement teams out there and they’re doing their best to, to, you know, find folks who are maybe from out of state that are [sic] out and about and they shouldn’t be, without a mask and those sort of things. The best we can do is hope that folks either aren’t traveling at all or if they are traveling that they’re following the state’s requirements,” Stephanie Kitts, a spokesperson with the Sunport, said.

Kitts said it’s on the Sunport to do the best it can to communicate the two-week quarantine requirement to incoming travelers. She said the Sunport informs travelers of the quarantine on the PA system and has an information table for incoming and outgoing travelers. The information table has copies of the state’s current public health order, an updated map of states considered high and low risk, and a sign explaining the quarantine. The table also has free masks for whoever needs them. Despite being hard-hit by the pandemic, the Sunport is encouraging people to stay home this holiday.

“We’re in the business of helping people get from point A to point B, right? And, so, it’s been devastating for the aviation industry as a whole, and of course that trickles down to the Sunport as well,” Kitts said. “We’re not encouraging people to travel. We’re not advertising travel, talking about our destinations and those things but at the same time, we are here to support folks who have to travel for whatever reason. And we’re doing the best that we can do make that safe and easy for folks but in no way are we trying to promote travel at this time.”

For those who are traveling, the Sunport has signage with COVID-safe practices and requires face masks at all times. It has upped its cleaning and even has a robot sanitize the terminals every night. It’s encouraging people who do need to pick up a traveler to do curbside pickup and to not come inside the airport.

According to Triple-A, about 2.4 million people plan to travel for Thanksgiving via plane which is about a 47% drop from 2019. It estimates about 48 million people will travel by car for the holiday which is about a 4% decrease from last year.


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