This year’s Thanksgiving travel picked up after last year’s COVID-19 lull, according to USA Today.
By the numbers: More than 2.4 million people were screened on Sunday as returning passengers, topping the figure of 1.2 million last year. Total travelers were about half a million shy of the Transportation Security Administration’s historic record of nearly 2.9 million passenger check-ins in 2019, but still hovered at 1.2 million more than 2020.
- “For the 10-day Thanksgiving travel rush that began Nov. 19, the TSA said it screened nearly 20.9 million passengers. That compares with 9.5 million a year ago and a record 23.5 million in 2019.”
The omicron interruption: Thanksgiving travel was punctuated by news about a new and concerning COVID-19 variant. First noted by South Africa’s scientists, the omicron variant has already been found in a range of countries and could spread worldwide by the end of the year.
The outlook: It could take scientists weeks to learn more about the severity and transmissibility of the omicron variant, but the WHO has already noted that “the overall global risk related to the (omicron variant) is assessed as very high.”