Over 1M passengers screened for flights in US

FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2020, file photo, a woman waits at a bus stop where pandemic public service signs are displayed in Chicago. The U.S. has issued no nationwide restrictions on travel, a decision left to state governments, but a federal agency is advising against criss-crossing the country for Christmas season. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of passengers screened for flights in the U.S. topped nearly 1.2 million Wednesday for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, but it’s still about 38.5% below the same Wednesday last year, by far the smallest percentage decline since March.

The Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday’s tally of 1.19 million was the most since mid-March.

It’s the third straight daily gain.

On the same weekday a year ago, 1.94 million passengers were screened. However, that was Christmas 2019 when travel was lighter than normal. On several days in early April after the pandemic broadsided the U.S. economy, fewer than 100,000 people were screened to board planes.

The bump comes as the CDC warns that holiday travel may increase one’s chances of getting and spreading the virus. It recommends staying home and postponing travel as the best way to protect oneself from COVID-19.

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