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Traveling Via LAX? Here's What You Need To Know

People with luggage bags line up in the airport terminal.
Travelers wait in line to check in for an international flight at LAX.
(Mario Tama
/
Getty Images)
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LAX is in the middle of its busiest travel period this year as cases of the fast-spreading omicron variant continue to swell.

If you're flying out of town this holiday season, we have important tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.

High-Quality Masks Help Defend Against Omicron

Dr. Kimberly Shriner at Pasadena's Huntington Hospital suggests you pack a high-quality mask and wear it at the airport. While any mask is better than no mask, she says cloth masks won’t provide you with as much protection against the omicron variant as others.

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“Get a three ply surgical mask and or a KN95, especially the latter if you're going to be doing some kind of high risk behavior like traveling,” she said.

That's because airports — despite being crowded indoor spaces — might not be where people are at the highest risk.

“Not so much when you're on the aircraft. Because their filtrations are quite good, but certainly when you're passing through the airport there are lots and lots of people mixing with lots of unknown people,” she said. “So that's where probably a lot of transmission occurs.”

The airport says up to 3.5 million travelers are expected to pass through for Christmas and New Year's — which means the omicron variant will also have travel plans this holiday.

To better lower the risk, the doctor recommends getting tested when you arrive.

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Especially if you're visiting a vulnerable relative or friend, it'd be prudent to be tested. It's someone who is very high-risk then you still want to wear a mask — a high-quality one — to prevent transmission.
— Dr. Kimberly Shriner

Walk-Up Vaccinations Will Be Available At The Airport

This Wednesday and the following on Dec. 29, free COVID-19 vaccines and boosters will be available for travelers going through LAX.

The vaccine pop-ups run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. People can choose from the three vaccine makers at the lower-arrivals level of the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

LAX spokesperson Heath Montgomery says vaccines will be available to all, even if you're not traveling out of the international terminal.

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“Maybe if you just happen to be flying or you have some extra time,” Montgomery said. “And you know that this is going to be available on a walk-up basis. It's a very convenient way to get that booster shot done before you head out for the holidays.”

Montgomery says people can make appointments to purchase rapid PCR tests and get results within an hour. Walk-up testing is also available, but you may have to wait a little longer to get your results.

For more information about testing and vaccinations, visit FlyLAX.

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