Still planning to travel for Thanksgiving? Expert weighs in on how to do so as safely as possible

The nation’s top health advisers don’t want Americans traveling for Thanksgiving this year as coronavirus cases surge across the country.

But even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention know not everyone will follow that request.

READ: Coronavirus: CDC warns against traveling for Thanksgiving amid COVID-19 pandemic

Here’s what local experts say you need to keep in mind if you do decide to travel:

· Plan your travel very carefully. If you haven’t booked your flight yet, University of Florida epidemiology professor Cindy Prins said to try to find an airline that still keeps the middle seat open. Delta said this week that it would do that through March. On Southwest, you have until Dec. 1.

READ: Stimulus check update: McConnell coming back to table to discuss COVID-19 relief, Schumer says

· Check if there are rules where you are traveling to. For example, are you heading to New York? If so, local leaders say travelers from Florida have to either quarantine for 14 days or can shorten that if they get a negative test three days before arrival, quarantine for three days, then get another negative test on day four.

· Eat before you board. If you’re getting on a plane, Prins advises you to keep your mask on the entire flight. “When you’re on that plane, do not take off your mask,” she said. “So eat before you get on the plane.”

INTERACTIVE MAP: Coronavirus cases in Florida

· Keep your mask on. If you’re going to dine inside, Prins recommends wearing a mask no matter what. “It feels weird with your friends to sit far apart with a mask on, but it’s really the safest thing to do right now,” Prins said. “If you can eat outside, that’s even better, but you still want to wear a mask if you’re within six feet of each other.”

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.