US airports had 1.357 million people pass through on Friday, the highest number on any day since March 2020, just after the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.
The new figures from the transportation security administration (TSA) will be welcome news for the aviation industry, which has particularly been decimated during the pandemic but was granted some relief in the stimulus bill that President Joe Biden signed on Thursday.
Still, nonessential flights go against the latest guidelines from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Plane travel remains relatively low in the US — Friday’s figures are nearly 38 per cent less than what they were on the same day in 2019, according to TSA data — but the latest increase in airline passengers has come as states continue to expand vaccine eligibility criteria and during the peak of spring-break season.
Photos of spring break partyers without masks in Florida spread on social media this week, prompting concern from some local officials.
New York Times News Service