Expanded State Travel Advisory in Effect; Airport Precautions in Place for Those Who Must Travel
Maryland health officials are urging residents to stay home this Thanksgiving season to help slow the spread of COVID-19, and have issued a travel advisory regarding non-essential trips outside the state. At Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, officials also recommend everyone do their part by limiting air travel to essential trips only, and closely adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols if travel is necessary.
“Public health officials have made it clear we’re all safer at home during this holiday season,” said Ricky Smith, Executive Director of BWI Marshall Airport. “For those customers that must fly, we want them to know healthy travel remains our top priority. BWI Marshall continues to work with airport partners to help ensure a safe travel experience.”
BWI Marshall continues to offer strong proactive measures to provide for the well-being of passengers. The airport terminal remains restricted to ticketed passengers, employees and those helping passengers needing assistance.
Face coverings or masks are required for customers and employees in BWI Marshall Airport. Passengers arriving without a face covering may receive a free mask at airport information desks. Some airlines may offer face coverings for customers as well. In addition, several airport concessions sell face coverings, and there are vending machines in the airport terminal and rental car facility for the purchase of masks and other personal protective equipment.
Since the early days of the COVID-19 emergency, BWI Marshall Airport has implemented many safety and health measures including enhanced cleaning and sanitation procedures. Hand sanitizer dispensers are in place throughout the airport terminal. Protective barriers have been installed at airline ticket counters, security checkpoints, and information desks, and physical distance markers are in place in high-traffic areas. Health and safety information is provided to travelers on monitors and overhead announcements.
In addition, the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and State offer a web portal where airline passengers can obtain updated information on how to Fly Healthy this holiday season. The portal notes the experience as an airline passenger begins at home, and offers advice on COVID-19 precautions during trip planning, at the airport, while aboard an aircraft, upon arrival at your destination and returning home.
At BWI Marshall, passenger traffic has steadily rebounded since the low point in April, when total passengers dropped 96% compared to last year. For the Thanksgiving holiday, passenger traffic is expected to be down about 50% from the same holiday period last year.
For those who do travel, allow plenty of time when coming to the airport during the holiday season; arriving two hours early is recommended. Travelers should practice physical distancing, wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, and use a mobile boarding pass when possible. To help ease potential traffic congestion on the lower level roadway during the holiday season, motorists should consider using the upper level / departures level roadway to drop off and pick up customers.
For airport parking, the Daily Garage remains open at a reduced rate of $8 per day, and the Hourly Garage is open at a reduced rate of $12 per day. The Long Term A and B lots, Express Parking, and valet parking are temporarily closed.
The Cell Phone Lot is open, offering a free, convenient location for motorists to wait away from the airport terminal until contact is made with arriving passengers. By using the Cell Phone Lot, drivers can avoid circling the terminal roadway while waiting for passengers.
For more on BWI Marshall Airport’s COVID-19 response, go to bwiairport.com/COVID19.