AAA survey: Vast majority of Delaware residents rule out Thanksgiving travel

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A new survey by AAA indicates that an overwhelming majority of Delawareresidents will not be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, withclose to50 of those polled citing coronavirus concerns.

The survey comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance advising against travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, due to a spike in cases nationwide.

“Given the recent surge in Covid-19 and the strong urging of public health officials for everyone to stay home for the holiday, the Thanksgiving travel landscape continues to change,” says Ken Grant, public and government affairs manager for Wilmington-based AAA Mid-Atlantic. “With that in mind, AAA conducted a new poll asking Delawareresidents who have decided against traveling for the holiday whether Covid-19, specifically, was the reason – and almost50 percent said yes.”

  • 86 percent are not traveling for the holiday
  • 49 percent not traveling because of Covid
  • 51 percent said they were not planning to travel anyway
  • 86 percent perceive travel during Covid as a risk – with 39 percent saying they perceive it as a ‘significant’ risk
Of the survey respondents still planning to travel
  • 78 percent plan to drive
  • 19 percent plan to fly
  • 3 percent plan to travel by some ‘other’ mode of transportation (bus, train)

The AAA survey of 683 Delaware driverswas conducted Nov. 12 and 13 by Public Policy Polling. The survey has a margin of error of 3.8 percent.

Results were comparable for Maryland and Pennsylvania travelers.

“Although Thanksgiving is typically a driving holiday, it should be noted that, since the beginning of Covid, those who have decided to travel this year have predominantly done so by car where they can have greater control over their environment and the ability to modify plans at the last minute,” Grantadds.

In addition to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, travelers should also be aware of local and state travel restrictions, including testing requirements and quarantine orders in the states you are traveling to, through, and also upon your return.

Based on mid-October economic forecast models, before the newest surge in COVID cases nationwide, AAA would have expected up to 50 million Americans to travel for Thanksgiving – a drop from 55 million in 2019 – based on previous projections.

“However, as the holiday approaches and Americans monitor the public health landscape, the actual number of holiday travelers is expected to be lower than we have seen in years.” Grant state.

The surge in Covid-19 cases has worsened in the past week, with serious outbreaks in the upper Midwest and advisories from public health officials in Delaware and other states to limit gatherings to those living in the home.

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