Apr 3, 2021 - Health

TSA reports most passenger screenings since beginning of the pandemic

Picture of a TSA officer screening a passenger in Utah
Photo: DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images

TSA on Friday screened 1,580,785 people across U.S. airports, a record high since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The numbers come one day after Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky said that while the agency now says fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk, the CDC is still not recommending nonessential travel due to the rise in virus cases, NPR reports.

The big picture: TSA has been reporting more than 1 million daily screened passengers since March 11.

  • Mark Howell, a TSA spokesperson, told Axios the increase is thanks to spring break.

Yes, but: "It's too early to say travel is back. After all, TSA's screening numbers still pale in comparison to pre-pandemic passenger levels," CBS News writes.

What they're saying: The agency is preparing for an increase in travel during the summer months, Howell told Axios.

  • TSA in February said it was looking to hire 6,000 new officers by this summer.
  • While the agency is expecting a potential increase in travel, they do not know whether the summer numbers will hit pre-pandemic levels.
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