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Dec. 28, 2020 -- Nearly 1.3 million people traveled through airports on Sunday, marking the highest single-day number this year and bringing a ten day holiday total to more than 9.2 million passengers, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

The previous highs of 1.19 million people occurred on December 23rd and 1.76 the Sunday after the Thanksgiving holiday. During a three-day period last weekend, air travel surpassed 1 million passengers per day, which was the first time during the pandemic the milestone was reached three days in a row.

Since March, the TSA has reported 11 days of more than 1 million airline screenings — one in October, four in November and six so far in December. The lowest point was April 14 when less than 88,000 people flew.

The CDC issued updated guidance earlier this month, discouraging travel and urging people to stay at home as colder weather moves in and the holidays approached. The CDC also encouraged people to avoid activities that could spread the coronavirus, such as large social gatherings, weddings, parties, sporting events, parades, crowded bars and restaurants, cruises and busy transportation such as trains and planes.

“Travel can increase your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19,” the CDC wrote. “Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.”

For those who decide to travel, the CDC recommends getting tested for COVID-19 one to three days before a trip and three to five days after a trip. Travelers should also limit non-essential activities for a week after travel, even if a test is negative, the agency said.

“You and your travel companions (including children) may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to family, friends and community after travel,” the CDC wrote.

Show Sources

Transportation Security Administration, “TSA checkpoint travel numbers for 2020 and 2019.”

CDC, “Domestic Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

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