FRAMINGHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - Many people lined up outside COVID-19 testing sites across the state Wednesday just two days ahead of the Christmas holiday.

As many hit the roads, Gov. Charlie Baker pleaded with everyone to celebrate safely and stay home this year.

“We are urging all our residents to limit celebrations to limit of their immediate households,” he said.

Despite this, Kate Kennedy is making preparations to drive down to Connecticut this week to spend the holiday with a friend.

“I got a COVID test but decided not to travel because my family is in California or I would have otherwise I probably would have traveled to see them,” she said.

Elisha McField and her husband are driving through the night from Boston to Chicago to see her parents.

“We got COVID tested before we headed out,” she explained. “Part of the reason we are doing this is we are still too unsure of being on an airplane.”

The American Automobile Association said that more than 84 million Americans are expected to travel between now and January 3.

A steep decline of 29 percent from just last year.

In Massachusetts, 800,000 fewer are expected to travel.

“We are seeing across the country and in Massachusetts that roughly 95 to 96 percent who are traveling by car. So, no surprise there, it is much easier to control your environment and make it safe and sanitary,” Representative Mary McGuire said.

On Wednesday, Logan Airport was relatively quiet but TSA reported that a million people passed through security Tuesday nationwide — down by nearly a million from 2019.

Following the Thanksgiving spike in cases and hospitalizations, Baker made one last plea:

“Our hospitals are now under significant pressure and we’re heading toward another period, this holiday stretch, where we’re likely to see another significant increase in cases and hospitalizations unless everybody plays a very different game than the one we all played at Thanksgiving,” Baker said. “As a result, we think it’s appropriate to take action now to slow that spread. And we must do so in a way that can avoid overriding our hospital system.”

 

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