Coronavirus Coverage from KARK

Health experts urge caution among holiday travel

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark- Health experts are reminding travelers this year to take precautions for COVID-19 as thousands hit the road and skies for the holidays. 

Thursday the Clinton National Airport was filled with the rumbling sounds of the holidays. 

“Coming home for the holidays this year is definitely special,” traveler Saralyn Hellstern said. 

According to the Clinton National Airport, Little Rock saw double the foot traffic this year compared to last. Initial numbers show a 97 percent increase in passengers in 2021 compared to 2020. 

Those trends could continue this month, all at the same time while the Omicron Variant flies the friendly skies. 

“We were concerned,” Tim and Paula Galvin said. 

Governor Asa Hutchinson said the variant is likely spreading rapidly throughout the state. Health experts are now asking travelers to take extra precautions this year. 

“I got a COVID test just for my own safety,” said traveler Jonathan Roybal. “I make sure I’m wearing a good mask.” 

The Arkansas Department of Health is encouraging people to get tested for the virus before seeing family. 

Travelers say the negative test gives them peace of mind. 

“I didn’t have to worry about carrying it back on the plane and infecting other people and my family,” said Hellstern. 

Friday is expected to be a busy travel day as well. Travel agents remind travelers to check flight times and any cancellations. 

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