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The TSA screened nearly 2 million people at airports on Friday — a record since the COVID-19 pandemic slammed the US travel industry

  • The TSA screened more than 1.9 million people at US airports on Friday ahead of Memorial Day weekend.
  • That’s a record since the pandemic significantly slowed US air travel in March 2020.
  • On the same day last year, the TSA screened just over 327,000 people, according to the agency.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Transportation Security Administration screened nearly 2 million people at US airports on Friday ahead of Memorial Day weekend, a record since the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically slowed air travel last year.

According to TSA data, the agency screened 1,959,593 people Friday — nearly six times higher than the number of travelers who went through TSA checkpoints on May 28, 2020.

On the same day in 2019, the agency screened more than 2.5 million people. 

The TSA had not screened more than 1.9 million people since March 8 last year, according to agency data. Air travel fell significantly about a week later and has remained lower than average since as people stopped traveling for work or pleasure to slow the spread of the coronavirus. From March 17 to October 18 last year, the agency screened less than 1 million passengers daily, the TSA announced last year

The TSA has been planning for an increase in travel this summer and earlier this year announced it intended to hire some 6,000 new officers this year by summer.

The increase in air travel is yet another sign that pre-pandemic norms are returning to the US, as more than half of adults in the US have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as of last week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The majority of all Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC.

People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can travel throughout the US without getting tested for the disease before or after travel, according to CDC guidelines. The agency still recommends that fully vaccinated individuals wear face masks when traveling.  

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