The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has screened more than 2 million flyers on Friday and Saturday, in the two days after the federal government issued a warning against Thanksgiving travel.
TSA data indicates that more than 1 million travelers were screened on Friday, the second day to reach beyond 1 million since March. Friday’s traveling numbers amounted to almost 40 percent of the TSA screenings conducted on the same weekday last year.
On Saturday, the TSA reported that it screened 984,369 travelers, almost 45 percent of the screenings completed on the same weekday in 2019.
The more than 2 million travelers over the past two days is much less than the amount who traveled for the holiday on Friday and Saturday last year. But it still shows that many plan to follow through with their plans to travel for Thanksgiving despite the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending against it.
The CDC issued its warning against traveling for Thanksgiving on Thursday, one week before the holiday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country are continuing to surge.
In its announcement, the agency officially recommended Americans only spend Thanksgiving with people living in their households, meaning those who have lived in the same home for at least 14 days before the holiday.
The CDC said those who do not follow these recommendations should wear masks, stay six feet apart from those not in their household and hold small gatherings outside.
The TSA has consistently screened less than 1 million people every day since March, except for Oct. 18, which came at the end of Columbus Day weekend, as the travel industry has taken a huge hit amid the pandemic.
Travel organization AAA predicted that there will be an “at least” 10 percent decrease in Thanksgiving travel due to the coronavirus crisis.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske said he thinks the busiest travel days for the holiday will be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after, according to CNN.
The U.S. reached 250,000 total COVID-19 deaths last week, since the beginning of the pandemic in the spring. The country tracked a single-day record for hospitalization on Saturday with 82,227 currently hospitalized and for cases on Friday with 192,805 new confirmed cases.