The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on Monday morning announced that it screened 1.85 million passengers on Sunday, May 16, the first time the TSA had seen a number above 1.8 million since the start of the pandemic.
The number is still well off the 2.6 million that the TSA screened during the same day in 2019, but it is very different from the 253,000 that it saw in 2020. The 1.8 million from Sunday is the highest number since the TSA screened 1.9 million on March 8, 2020.
While the passenger volume is slowly returning to normal, TSA rules and protocols put in place during the pandemic are remaining in place.
Though things can change, the TSA recently extended its transportation mask requirement until Sept. 13, 2021, including in airports, on flights, on trains, and more.
“The CDC recently 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,” the TSA’s guidance reads.
Those who fail to comply with the mandate can still be denied boarding, removed from their flights, or fined by the TSA.
That requirement has been in place since February, and according to the FAA, airlines have already filed more than 1,300 reports of unruly passengers, a major increase from previous years.
One man who was flying Southwest, according to the NY Times, was charged $16,500 for his refusal to wear a mask and mistreatment of flight attendants. Others have been charged $9,000 or more for their behavior.