MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -- As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Horry County, vacationers refused to cancel those summer travel plans.Myrtle Beach International Airport has implemented new safety protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus between passengers traveling to and from the Grand Strand area.
Recent CCU studies show the number of people staying at hotels here in Grand Strand is very similar to what we saw last summer, despite the pandemic.
At MYR air travel is slowly starting to bounce back as the airport does it’s part to keep passengers safe and healthy.
“We’re seeing an entire industry that is transforming and shifting and promoting health safety for the community and all the visitors to our area,” said Ryan Betcher.
Myrtle Beach International Airport is encouraging passengers to wear a mask, which a large majority of people were wearing.
While standing in line for tickets and bag checks you’ll notice signs reminding passengers of social distancing, new plexiglass dividers, also known as sneeze guards separate you from airline workers.
As you make your way to TSA more signage reminds passengers to stand at least one surfboard length away from each other of six feet, security beans are also sanitized daily
Myrtle Beach International Airport does not control what safety protocols individual airlines put in place, but believe they have done everything possible to minimize the spread of COVID-19 for passengers traveling through their terminal.
“We’re just trying to be proactive about everything and encourage all of our passengers and visitors to wear face masks, especially when they’re in large groups and around other people,” said Betcher.
Despite being deemed a COVID-19 hot spot by state health officials, Horry County unveiled their welcome back website which includes safety recommendations for businesses, residents , and visitors.
“We need to be careful, we need to be vigilant and do the things we were doing before. You have to assume your own responsibility and take ownership to what’s going on,” said Johnny Gardner, Chairman of Horry County Council.
Betcher said Myrtle Beach International Airport is starting to see a rise in passengers traveling through MYR and that rental car sales are higher than usual.
“Something the public doesn’t necessarily see is that we have large off sight facilities where these rental car agencies are continuously cleaning and sanitizing each vehicle after every return,” said Betcher.
Local health experts say it’s definitely a risk to travel out of state and you just have to be cautious.
However Betcher believes the MYR has done their part to keep you safe and healthy as long as you’re willing to do your part.
“Ultimately it’s up to each individual how they feel they want to travel and well continually look out for new initiatives to protect the public,” said Betcher.
Although COVID-19 cases continue to spike in South Carolina and here in Horry County, Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune says they expected to see a rise in cases as tourism started back up.
If you are planning at trip to the Grand Strand be sure to check out the Greater Grand Strand is Open website for a list of COVID-19 prevention tips and make the Greater Grand Strand Promise.