RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — AAA projects that the number of travelers in Virginia this holiday season will be the lowest the commonwealth has seen in nearly two decades.

Automobile travel in the state is expected to the lowest since 2008, a 26 percent decrease from last year. Airline travel is also expected to see the biggest decline — 60 percent from 2019.

“Steadily increasing cases of COVID-19 and the governor’s newest restrictions, enacted on December 14, may drive the actual travel volume even lower as some Virginians decide to stay home and play it safe,” Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic Martha Mitchell Meade said.

AAA said they expect at least 34 million people will not travel this holiday season compared to last year. However, AAA still predicts as many as 84.5 million Americans will still travel from December 23 through January 3, a decline in the travel of approximately 29 percent.

AAA breaks down the number of travelers they are expecting for the 2020 holiday season. (Photo: AAA Mid-Atlantic)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges Americans not to travel for the holidays this year, warning that travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.

AAA said if you make the personal decision to travel know how important it is to understand the risks involved. They advise Virginians to use their COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map to see all the latest state and local travel restrictions.

If you do travel this holiday season, you can find more information here on how to minimize the chance of contracting and spreading COVID-19.