TSA screens more than 2 million on Friday for the first time since the pandemic hit

The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 2 million people for the first time since the onset of the pandemic on Friday, a major milestone for the travel industry.

The agency screened 2,028,961 people that day, about four times the number screened on the same day in 2020 and 74% of the travel volume in 2019. Before the pandemic, the TSA screened 2 to 2.5 million people per day on average. 

The number is a strong signal for the return of travel this summer, which has been one of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic. Experts expect a healthy amount of leisure travel this summer as vaccination rates continue to climb in the U.S. and pent-up demand pushes Americans to book trips.

“The growing number of travelers demonstrates this country’s resilience and the high level of confidence in COVID-19 counter measures, to include ready access to vaccines,” TSA acting administrator Darby LaJoye said in a Saturday news release. “TSA stands ready to provide a safe and secure screening process as part of the overall travel experience.”

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