TSA predicts record travel weekend at SFO despite government health warnings

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Emmanuel Perez arrived home to the Bay Area after visiting his young children in Florida.

"I got two kids on the East Coast. I (have) to see them. I traveled to them, so they don't have to come over here," says Perez.

Like many, Perez says this is the first time he flew since the start of the pandemic - and the first time he has seen his kids.

He admits that he was worried. He had a full flight and faced large crowds at airports.

RELATED: TSA screens more than 1 million passengers for 5th straight day amid COVID pandemic

"I knew what I was doing. Unfortunately, I just had to do it. I can't keep on going without seeing my family. That's just the downside. (I got) two kids. And it's not fair to them," he says.

Perez will get a COVID-19 test on Monday and quarantine for the next 10 days.

Passengers arriving at SFO were met with the announcement: "The San Francisco and Santa Cara counties now require a 10 quarantine on arrival," playing throughout the airport.

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney says the quarantine measure is one way to keep the new strain of the virus out of the city.

"There is not a whole lot of ways for it to be enforced, so, I think really what we are saying, 'This is the best practice. If you are coming into San Francisco, stay home for 10 days,'" explains Haney.

RELATED: San Francisco orders mandatory quarantine for incoming travelers amid COVID-19 surge

The quarantine measures, which vary among the nine Bay Area counties, apply to all people who are traveling into the Bay Area, not just those traveling by air.

Despite pleas from lawmakers to stay home, the TSA says close to 2 million people will travel this holiday weekend, which is the most since the pandemic started.

Noah Lund and his friends just got back from a beach vacation in Mexico. He says getting out and traveling is important for his mental well-being. He says he wasn't too concerned about traveling, despite warnings to avoid non-essential travel.

"I'm not necessarily too afraid for my sake. If I was older, maybe. But I'm young," says Lund. "I think we just need to realize that there are other issues than just COVID."

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.


Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here

RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.