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Omicron does little to slow holiday travel

Airports and roadways packed in spite of surge in COVID cases - CBS' Anthony Pura reports

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (CBS News) - Across the country, millions of Americans are on the move, including the Larson family from the San Francisco Bay area, who took an early trip to Disneyland.

"We've been trapped for, I don't know, two years and we're kind of feeling a little bit of wanting to do something to do a little bit of normalcy," says mom Jenny Larson.

Triple A says more than 109-million people will travel 50-miles or more between now and January 2nd, despite concerns about the Omicron surge.

"We all got vaccinated, we all got our booster shots. The kid is vaccinated," says traveler Bhakti Pavani.

While domestic flights do not require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, all travelers are required to wear masks, and advised to pack some patience.

"U.S. Airlines are reporting no uptick in cancellations. In fact, another airline says they're on track to fly 420-thousand passengers everyday," says CBS News Senior Travel Advisor Peter Greenberg.

"Triple A expects more than six million people to hit the skies in the next few days, nearly tripling the amount of holiday travelers flying last year," says CBS News' Anthony Pura.

At LAX, the second busiest airport in the nation, people were able to get both vaccinations and booster shots Wednesday.

"It's great to have it here and very easily and for free," says traveler Ana Gonzalez.

For those planning holiday gatherings indoors, the CDC warns Americans to keep it small and get tested ahead of time.

(SOT Dr. Jon LaPook) "That week before people get together is very crucial. Of course if they can get rapid testing right before, like the moment before they're about to take off their mask, that's even better," advises Dr. Jon LaPook, CBS' chief medical correspondent.

Health officials also recommend people delay travel unless fully vaccinated, and mask up in public, indoor settings.

Triple-A says most travelers, roughly 100-million people, will hit the roads. Gas prices are about $3.29 a gallon, more than a dollar above last year.

CBS News

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