This Thanksgiving ‘might be a good year not to travel’ due to COVID pandemic, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says

Gov. Charlie Baker is encouraging Massachusetts residents to think about not traveling this Thanksgiving due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This might be a good year not to travel,” he said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also already discouraging people from making travel plans.

“Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together. Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19,” the CDC’s website stated in September. “Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.”

For Thanksgiving, the CDC suggests, having a small dinner with only people who live in the same household. And for those that are considered high risk, it suggests preparing traditional family recipes and “delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others.”

And for those that love Black Friday shopping, it’s best to do it online this year.

“Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving” is listed in the high risk category.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is usually the busiest travel day of the year, Baker said. But he hopes people might make different plans this year.

“People want to go home and they want to see their families. And I completely get that and understand it,” he said. “But I think it’s really important for people to remember that almost every state in the country has some degree of guidance associated with travel. And there’s a reason for that because travel shows up quite a bit in a lot of the contact tracing activity that people do.”

Massachusetts health officials recently eased travel restrictions for California, Hawaii, New Jersey and Washington state. But majority of the country is still considered high-risk.

Travelers from other states must complete the Massachusetts travel form and either quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Massachusetts or produce a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours before arrival.

Baker enacted the travel order on Aug. 1. Failure to comply with the order could result in a $500 fine per day.

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