NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Despite rising COVID-19 cases, Nashville International Airport is still expecting to see thousands of travelers this week, and has additional safety measures in place.
The busiest travel days are expected to be Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Sunday and Monday after the holiday. Airport officials said it is difficult to predict how many passengers will travel through the airport, because numbers fluctuate. The number of daily travelers has been steadily climbing over the last few months, but is still lower than this time one year ago.
Despite the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommending against traveling for Thanksgiving, nationwide, Friday and Saturday were two of the busiest days at U.S. airports since March. The Transportation Security Administration screened slightly more than 1 million people at U.S. airports on Friday.
In the terminal at BNA, people will notice several additional safety measures are in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Masks are required for everyone inside the airport, and there are free masks on hand if you forget one. Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the terminal, and plexiglass shields have been added at ticket counters. In addition, airport officials said restrooms are closed every two hours for cleaning, and airline gate areas are also cleaned regularly throughout the day. Signs are placed throughout the airport reminding people to wear masks and social distance.
New "Minute Suites" in Terminal D can be reserved so people can have a private space to relax between flights.
Several people traveling on Monday said they felt safe at the airport, but were taking additional precautions.
"I think the most important thing is to wear your mask, and be aware of what's around you," said Lynn Bullock, who was traveling to Nashville.
"We have all been tested, and we will go from our destination to another destination and stay in," said Latrec Holloway, who was flying to Baltimore.
"I don't usually wear plastic gloves, but I put those on today," added Jim Shuster. "I am cautious of my surroundings and am making sure I don't get to close to people."
Travelers may be visiting the airport for the first time since the pandemic will notice the airport looks different. Months of construction has impacted parking, as well as how people access their gates.
The airport is now split into North and South terminals. Travelers must know their airline, and follow signs to the terminal that matches. There are also two security checkpoints, and some of the airline ticket counters have moved.
Airport officials recommend travelers arrive early and check their flight status before heading to the airport.
For more information on parking and safety measures in place visit: https://flynashville.com/