Labor Day

Millions Set to Travel for Labor Day Weekend as Delta Variant Concerns Remain

Nearly 43 million people are expected to travel this holiday weekend, according to the company Arrival List

NBC Universal, Inc.

Millions of eager Americans are expected to hit the roads and skies this Labor Day weekend, prompting new concerns about possible superspreader events across the country.

To curb the spread of the delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges those who haven't been vaccinated to stay home.

Nearly 43 million people are expected to travel this holiday weekend, according to Arrival List, a company that tracks travel data. That number, however, is down 10% from the 2019 Labor Day forecast.

Nearly every U.S. state, with the exception of Vermont, is now on Chicago's travel advisory, meaning those states are experiencing at least 15 cases per day per 100,000 people.

While some people plan to venture away from home, others are erring on the side of caution.

NBC 5 talked to one woman whose family tried traveling during the pandemic, but this time around, she's staying put to protect a sick family member.

"We want to be careful and take precautions," Diana Almanza said.

Another Chicago-area resident said even though she has been fully vaccinated, she too has decided to stay home instead of visiting relatives out of state.

"I have a back deck...BBQ and enjoy my three-day weekend," Joyce Doty said. "That’s what I'm going to do."

Under guidance from some area school districts, including Chicago Public Schools, unvaccinated children who travel this Labor Day weekend will need to quarantine when they return home. CPS has encouraged families to travel only if necessary.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said ultimately the decision will be left to parents, but she specifically urged those with unvaccinated kids to avoid traveling for the long weekend.

Most who do decide to leave home this weekend will be driving, according to AAA.

"It's because they feel more safe in the car, but they also have more control, so as they're going to their destination, they have the opportunity to take a side trip on the way," said Molly Hart, spokesperson for AAA – The Auto Club Group.

In regard to air travel, Chicago's Department of Aviation expects to see twice the amount of travelers this weekend compared to the same period in 2020. O'Hare International Airport is poised to see nearly one million people from Thursday through Monday - a 100% increase from last year.

Health experts say, if you do plan to travel, gather outdoors, wear masks while indoors and consider COVID infection rates where you're headed.

Contact Us