Boise Airport during COVID-19 (copy)

FILE — A passenger and flight crew member maintain social distancing protocols as they descend an escalator to baggage claim after arriving at the Boise Airport, Thursday, April 2, 2020. As Thanksgiving approaches, Idahoans and residents of surrounding states are urged to only gather with household members to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, Idahoans considering traveling out of state face myriad travel restrictions due to COVID-19 that vary by state, some with big potential fines, while Idaho’s newest public health order has no travel restrictions at all. Nevertheless, Idahoans are being strongly advised not to travel this Thanksgiving.

“It is not safe to have gatherings with people who don’t live with you,” said Niki Forbing-Orr, spokeswoman for the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare. “We advise against traveling for the holidays, or having guests travel here.”

Among Idaho’s direct neighbors, Washington and Oregon have newly enacted 14-day quarantine advisories for anyone entering the state, and Canada’s still not letting Americans in, with very limited exceptions that include quarantine requirements. Utah has no travel restrictions, but is currently limiting all gatherings to household members under a state of emergency.

Every state neighboring Idaho except Wyoming currently has a statewide mask mandate aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19; 35 states now have such requirements, with the latest addition of North Dakota on Saturday. You can read my full story here at (subscription required), or pick up today's edition of the Idaho Press; it's on the front page.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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