Millions travel for Christmas, as CDC requires a negative COVID-19 test for U.K. travelers

NEW YORK — The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a lot of concern this holiday season about family gatherings and travel.

And now that the presents have been unwrapped and Christmas dinner is finished, many of these travelers will return home.

Will they bring the coronavirus with them?

“Obviously, it’s a concern but just being hopeful that people are being safe wherever they are,” New Yorker Tatum Murray said.

Murray and her fiancé Eric Treffeisen celebrated Christmas just the two of them on the Upper East Side.

“We were going to see my family in Pennsylvania, but we decided to stay to just to be safe and keep everyone healthy,” Murray said.

Unlike this couple, millions of Americans jumped on plans, trains or into cars this holiday season.

The Transportation Security Administration said it screened 1,191,123 people at the nation’s airport checkpoints on December 23rd. The TSA screened 846,520 people on Christmas Eve.

Holiday travel is down compared to previous years, but with a raging pandemic, that’s a lot of flying.

“It seems like a lot of people are going through pandemic fatigue, which I get, but hopefully the people who do travel, kind of keep the guidelines and get tested before and after they get back,” Eric Treffeisen said.

A highly contagious COVID-19 variant has been spreading in the United Kingdom.

Earlier in the week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked several airlines flying out of the United Kingdom to test passengers for the coronavirus before leaving for New York. And then New York City announced, U.K. travelers would be served a Department of Health Commissioner’s order to quarantine.

Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will require a negative Covid-19 Test before U.K. fliers can come to the United States. The CDC’s director signed the mandate Friday. It takes effect Monday.

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