Photos: Travel, testing ramp up as Omicron hits California

What happens when you have a growing Omicron version and have a busy travel season?

Trouble.

From December 16 to January, 3.5 million people are expected to travel through Los Angeles International Airport. 3, According to airport officials, this is the busiest travel period of the year. By many accounts, airlines and airports haven’t absorbed the rebound very well so far, with staffing shortages, shifting safety protocols and rowdy passengers hampering travel.

Now, with the Omicron version spreading fast and many travelers determined to go ahead with holiday plans, months of preparation by airlines and airport staff will face a test at large airports like LAX.

Testing is also intensifying as family and friends get together over the Christmas holidays.

A health worker hands over a COVID-19 test kit at a drive-thru testing site in La Sierra Park, Riverside.

(Gina Farazzi/Los Angeles Times)

“Increasingly, Omicron is overtaking Delta. I would say that within the next two weeks, it’s almost all going to Omicron.”

Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer

A man chokes on his nose near Christmas decorations.

A man pokes his nose at the Union Station COVID testing kiosk in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

(Jason Armand / Los Angeles Times)

Drivers seeking a COVID test line up in the Dodger Stadium parking lot at the drive-though site

People seeking a COVID test line up to reach a site in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.

(Luis Cinco / Los Angeles Times)

“We are experiencing the surge we were anticipating.”

San Francisco Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax

Passengers wait for their holiday flights at the airport

Travelers wait for their holiday flights at John Wayne Airport.

(Alan J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

A woman with luggage picks up a COVID-19 test self-collection kit at John Wayne Airport

Holly Goodwin, of Garden Gov., takes a free COVID-19 test self-collection kit from the Orange County Health Care Agency after arriving on a flight Tuesday at John Wayne Airport.

(Alan J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Passengers wait for shuttle at Los Angeles International Airport in the arrivals deck

Passengers in the arrivals deck wait for the shuttle to Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday.

(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

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