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Holiday Airport Numbers Hint That Travel Is Back On The Rise
In March 2020, the travel industry took an unprecedented pause due to the pandemic. Airports were like ghost towns and travel bans were put in place. Travel dropped from millions of people daily to only about 100,000 daily, in April.
By summer, travel numbers began rising again, but the busiest travel day since the pandemic began was Sunday, Jan. 3rd. According to reports, there were 1.3 million people who passed through TSA after spending time with their loved ones during the holiday season.
TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said in an email to the Washington Post, “We saw an uptick in the number of travelers for Memorial Day Weekend, the July 4th holiday, Labor Day Weekend, Columbus Day Weekend, and then again around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday periods. What we’ve seen is the usual pre-pandemic type of travel patterns during the 2020 holidays.”
Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says, “As you get into the holiday season and people have done a considerable amount of traveling, there’s been congregate settings where people innocently and understandably were gathering for social and family get-togethers against the advice of public health officials like myself. It’s terrible, it’s unfortunate, but it was predictable that we were going to see the number of cases that we’re seeing.”
Now that the holiday season is over and the vaccine is becoming available, travel is expected to increase.
Ed Bastian, Delta Air Lines chief executive, shared in a company memo that he expects the vaccines to spark a return to travel.
Currently, TSA has not announced any changes to its security screenings, and Farbstein shares they’re not preparing for an influx of travelers.