RICHMOND — A new survey by AAA indicates that a large majority of Virginia residents will not be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, and over 40 percent of those staying home say it is because of COVID-19 concerns.
“Given the recent surge in COVID-19 and the strong urging of public health officials for everyone to stay home for the holiday, the Thanksgiving travel landscape continues to change,” says Martha Mitchell Meade, spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
“With that in mind, AAA conducted a new poll asking Virginia residents who have decided against traveling for the holiday whether COVID-19, specifically, was the reason — and over 40 percent said yes,” Mead said.
The new AAA survey provides this snapshot:
— 84 percent of Virginia residents surveyed will be staying home for the Thanksgiving holiday.
— 41 percent say they are not traveling because of COVID-19.
— 56 percent say they were not planning to travel anyway
— 86 percent of Virginia residents surveyed said they perceive traveling at this time poses a risk, with 33 percent calling that risk ‘significant.’
Of the survey respondents still planning to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday: 82 plan to drive; 12 percent plan to fly; 6 percent plan to travel by some ‘other’ mode of transportation (bus, train).
The AAA survey of 844 Virginia residents was conducted Nov. 12-13 by Public Policy Polling. The survey has a margin of error of 3.4 percent.
“Although Thanksgiving is typically a driving holiday, it should be noted that, since the beginning of COVID, those who have decided to travel this year have predominantly done so by car where they can have greater control over their environment and the ability to modify plans at the last minute,” Meade adds.
The Virginian Review has been serving Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany County and Bath County since 1914.