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Holiday travel at Santa Barbara Airport busier, but not anything like last year

Santa Barbara Airport holiday travel down an estimated 70 percent
Santa Barbara Airport travelers
Tracy Lehr / KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.

Airports aren't as busy as usual, but there are people coming and going at the Santa Barbara airport and the long term parking lot is filling up.

Santa Barbara airport spokesperson Deanna Zachrisson said holiday travel will increase traffic at the airport, but it still likely to be about 70 percent below last's year's holiday travel.

She said business travel has dropped. She doesn't expect any fare sales until the new year.

Although public health officers have warned against travel during the surge in COVID-19 cases people have booked flights.

Many have sought out smaller airports.

Kelly Delany was picking up family wearing a mask and a Santa hat.

She said, " We are here picking up loved ones. Santa Barbara is so much safer than any other airport around."

She said they won't be mixing with other families.

Kaitlyn Mannix flew in from Portland.

She said she saw, "A lot of staff at the airport directing people to go into separate security checkpoints and go through the gate in the most efficient way possible."

She said some lines of people stood too close together.

Cameron Dishman said he flew to Santa Barbara rather than LAX to visit family in Camarillo.

"I think it was kind of essential for us just to see family with new kids on the way."

Santa Barbara County's Public Health Officer Henning Ansorg urged people not to travel.

"Please avoid al risky behavior like traveling and mixing with people outside of your household at this time," said Ansorg during Tuesday's COVID update.

He said a vaccine offers a glimmer of hope.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said people should continue to get tested before and after travel to reduce exposure. He also suggested people quarantine depending on the circumstances.

Airports recommend travelers review advisories before their trips.

Inside the Santa Barbara Airport there are social distancing markers on the floor and large bathrooms where people can wash their hands before and after checking on flights.

Face coverings are also required.

Coronavirus / Health / Lifestyle / Money and Business / Santa Barbara - South County / Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County
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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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