WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) surpassed the 2 million threshold for travelers screened in one day on Friday, June 11, when 2,028,961 people were screened at airport security checkpoints.
The milestone marked the first time that more than 2 million individuals were screened since March 2020. The stat represents 74% of the travel volume when compared with the same day in 2019 — and it’s 1.5 million more travelers than the same day in 2020.
“The growing number of travelers demonstrates this country’s resilience and the high level of confidence in COVID-19 countermeasures, to include ready access to vaccines,” stated Darby LaJoye, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the TSA Administrator, in an emailed press release. “TSA stands ready to provide a safe and secure screening process as part of the overall travel experience.”
Prior to the pandemic, TSA screened, on average, 2 to 2.5 million travelers per day. The lowest screening volume was on April 13, 2020, when just 87,534 people were screened at airport security checkpoints. By mid-May of 2021, TSA’s average daily volume for screenings was approximately 65% of pre-pandemic levels.
As the busy summer season approaches, TSA advises passengers to arrive at the airport with enough time to get situated and to be prepared for increased screening times as traveler volumes approach, and in some cases surpass, pre-pandemic levels at some airports.
Travelers should keep in mind that a mask mandate remains in place through September 13 for all passengers on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
TSA’s initial face mask requirement went into effect on February 1 with an expiration date of May 11 before it was extended. The CDC has announced that fully vaccinated travelers with an FDA-authorized vaccine can travel safely within the U.S., but the CDC guidelines still require individuals to wear a face mask, socially distance, and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.