PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- Despite the recent surge in coronavirus case, it's not stopping people from traveling to see loved ones for the holidays.

Experts have voiced serious concerns in the past few days about risks of holiday travel. An estimated two million people have boarded planes across the country.

Those numbers are down by 60% from last year. But it still goes against the advice of the CDC and Valley healthcare professionals.

One doctor says the recent spike in cases is partially due to people who traveled for the last big holiday, Thanksgiving.

We talked to travelers at Sky Harbor Airport this weekend to get their thoughts on doctors' advice. “If you’re concerned about it, I say don’t travel, but if you’re not really worried, then it’s up to you," said passenger Mikey Harrel. "It’s your own risk.”

Sky Harbor Airport

The airport has been busy, despite all the COVID-19 warnings. But the terminals were not as packed as they usually are during holiday seasons in previous years.

One woman, however, told us she waited 5 hours and missed her Delta flight. A spokesman for Delta Airlines told us they were short-staffed Saturday and that led to delays.

Doctors here in Arizona and across the country are urging people to hunker down in their "bubbles."

Social distancing bubbles can help you stay safe and sane by seeing other human beings. But they only work if everyone follows the same strict rules.

Want to hang with some friends (mask-free) this winter? Make a Covid-19 bubble

On Sunday, a growing number of European countries on Sunday halted flights from the UK following the discovery of a new variant of COVID-19, said by officials to spread faster than others.

The new strain of coronavirus prompted the UK government to impose a Tier 4 lockdown in London and southeastern England and tighten restrictions for all of England over the festive period.

The Netherlands is banning all passenger flights coming from the United Kingdom from Sunday morning until the new year in order to minimize the risk of the new strain from spreading in the the country "as much as possible", the government said in a press release.

The Dutch government said the same variant of the virus had been detected in the Netherlands in a sample from a case from early December, and that it is conducting further investigations to determine if there are any other related cases.

Meanwhile, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that Belgium will block travelers from the UK for 24 hours on Monday as a "precautionary measure," though the ban could be extended if necessary.

 

Copyright 2020 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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