Air travel at highest level in nearly a year, TSA says
Air travel hit the highest point in nearly a year Friday as Americans slowly resume travel amid the distribution of coronavirus vaccines and rollbacks of restrictions in some states.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers screened 1.3 million people at airport security checkpoints Friday, the highest figure since March 15, 2020, according to TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein.
BREAKING: @TSA officers screened 1,357,111 people at airport security checkpoints yesterday, Friday, March 12. The last time checkpoint throughput was that high was March 15, 2020. If you choose to fly, wear that mask!
— Lisa Farbstein, TSA Spokesperson (@TSA_Northeast) March 13, 2021
The rise in air travel comes as the distribution of coronavirus vaccines ramps up. The U.S. on Friday passed 100 million vaccine doses administered, and President Biden is ordering states to allow all adults to be eligible for a shot by May 1.
Several states are also rolling back their restrictions, including Texas and Mississippi, which scrapped statewide mask mandates and are permitting businesses to fully open.
New guidance from the government regarding travel is anticipated soon.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a number of recommendations that allow vaccinated and low-risk people more freedom to gather, but the government is still urging Americans to refrain from unnecessary travel.
The airline industry has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic and has sought to assure travelers that flying is safe.
“We remain confident that this layered approach significantly reduces risk and are encouraged that science continues to confirm there is a very low risk of virus transmission onboard aircraft,” a spokesperson for Airlines for America, which advocates for major U.S. airlines, told The Hill this week.