By Marielle Mohs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance to cancel Thanksgiving travel will add to an already slow season.

Like many families right now, the Scotts are having to make tough calls on their holiday plans.

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“Just last night I kind of said to the girls, ‘Alright, we need to have sort of a serious discussion about what you’re going to do,’” mom Beth Scott said.

Beth lives in Edina, and her three daughters — Elle, Sofie and Gracey — are spread out in three different states.

“I’ve never been anywhere but Minnesota for Thanksgiving,” Gracey Scott said.

She is in her senior year at Boston College. Massachusetts has tight restrictions on travel, and her school asked people not to leave the state for the holiday.

“I’m thankful that I got to come back in the first place, and not a lot of college students were able to go back. So I knew there were going to be sacrifices. This was one of them,” Gracey said.

Elle’s job has her in and out of hospitals in the Washington D.C. area. She’s worried about COVID exposure with travel impacting her job, and the vulnerable patients she sees in hospitals.

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Sofie plans to stay in Indiana, where she works as a civil engineer.

“It’s a small price to pay to like not be sick, to make other people sick,” Sofie Scott said.

MSP Airport is forecasting a slight uptick in travel for November and December, but not much more than they’ve been seeing all year during the pandemic. Since the stay-at-home order in May, departures out of MSP have gone from about 100 daily flights to about 300, with anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 passengers going through the airport daily around the holidays.

“It was a very difficult decision to make to not travel, but you can’t hear from all of these healthcare workers and not think, you know, I really have no business doing that, or, you know, making it worse for anyone,” Beth said.

The number of people forecasted to travel to MSP next week could change because airport reps tell WCCO they are also seeing a lot of last-minute cancellations.

Amtrak says it’s seeing 25%-less business because of the pandemic, and does not see a spike for Thanksgiving.

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AAA anticipates at least a 10% drop in auto travel — the largest one-year decrease since the recession in 2008.

Marielle Mohs