Dane County Regional Airport increases COVID precautions ahead of Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 1:32 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2020 at 4:02 PM CST
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DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) - While Governor Tony Evers is urging Wisconsinites to celebrate Thanksgiving at home this year, many people are still planning to travel for the holiday. Officials at the Dane County Regional Airport say they’re doubling down on safety protocols ahead of Thanksgiving.

“Masks are required in the facility. We maintain social distancing throughout the facility as well and then our maintenance staff has taken a lot of precautions,” says Michael Riechers, the Dane County Regional Airport’s Director of Marketing & Communications.

Riechers says staff there have taken on a rigorous cleaning schedule. “We’re cleaning high touch surfaces multiple times a day. We brought in foggers and hand sanitizers and sanitizing sprays.”

Travelers need to wear masks while inside in the airport and throughout their entire flight. Officials are also encouraging flyers to enroll in TSA PreCheck, saying that will get you through security quickly and with the least amount of physical contact with others.

“The TSA actually just brought in new scanning technology, it hasn’t quite been implemented yet. But again it’s a no-touch process or a low-touch process. It’s all designed to sort of minimize your contact with other people and also reduce your time while you’re in TSA as well,” says Riechers. TSA will also now allow you to bring up to 12 ounces of liquid hand sanitizer in your carry-on luggage.

If you do decide to cancel your trip, the type of reimbursement you’ll get depends on which airline you booked your flight through.

“One thing that we have seen is the major airlines have removed their change fees permanently. So if you do buy a ticket you can generally buy it with confidence. Either change your ticket later or just roll it to a different date, to a different destination, or to a time where it’s more comfortable to travel for you,” says Riechers.

Foot traffic has been slower at airports across the country this year, with airlines taking a major financial hit since the pandemic began. Locally, flight volumes have recently started to pick back up slightly.

“What we’ve seen is a slow but steady increase and we’re sort of optimistic that that will continue into 2021. Of course if the numbers continue to get worse, than that’s all going to change,” says Riechers.

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