General view of departure hall of Terminal 4 since there are virtually no customers during COVID-19 pandemic at JFK airport. – New York, NY – May 15, 2020 (Shutterstock)
By Rebecca Spalding and Manojna Maddipalta, AOL
(Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it recommends Americans do not travel during the Thanksgiving holiday next week to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as cases of the virus spike around the country.
The travel recommendation is a “strong recommendation,” not a requirement, CDC official Henry Walke said on a call with reporters Thursday. The government agency said it was making the recommendation after many states across the country have experienced a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.
“We’re alarmed with the exponential increase in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths,” Walke said.
The CDC advised against gathering with anyone who hasn’t lived in the same household for at least fourteen days, the incubation period for the coronavirus. Officials said they were also posting recommendations on their website on how to stay safe during the holidays for those Americans that do choose to travel.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are typically the busiest times of year for domestic travel as Americans gather with friends and family around the country. Shares in airlines and hotel companies have plummeted since the beginning of the outbreak as public officials have advised against unnecessary travel.