Burlington, VT — Amid high concerns over COVID and the rapidly spreading omicron variant, many people are still set on traveling to spend the holidays with their families.
Some individuals weren’t able to see their families last year but made sure to seize the opportunity this winter.
“I am here in Vermont visiting my mom in St. Albans,” said Laure Jenkins. “My mother is 92, just turned 92 on Saturday.”
Jenkins highlighted why she and many others are traveling to see family despite the ongoing pandemic.
“It’s just priceless. Family is so important and it’s just so nice to be able to spend time together.”
Sue and Al Gotsch came up for Thanksgiving from Florida and have been here since.
“It is wonderful because its been a while since we all have been together,” Sue Gotsch said. “So we came up for Thanksgiving and we stayed until Christmas and we are leaving right after.”
They also expressed their concerns over the new variant, which has found it’s way to Vermont. They have been careful about best protecting themselves.
“We all had our shots and are boosted as well, and we wear our masks, except when we are in the house together, we all have been very very cautious,” Sue Gotsch said.
Despite their concerns over Omicron, being together has been ‘magical’ for the Gotsch family.
“We have a two year old granddaughter and it’s just, to see her eyes in the morning, is going to be unbelievable,” Sue Gotsch said.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine reminded people to get their booster shots.
“You want to be able to enjoy the holiday season so for yourself your loved ones and your community you need to get your shot now,” Dr. Levine said.
Nic Longo, Acting Director of Aviation at the Burlington International Airport said he does not expect a decline in travel.
“Through the holidays we are going to see again just like we saw over Thanksgiving, we are going to see some record numbers going all the way back to our peak year 2019,” Longo said.
Longo said their number one priority is to have a safe airport and reminds travelers that masks are still required.