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More than 3 million people traveled through airports over the pre-Christmas weekend — the busiest three-day stretch since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Total throughput at US airports on Friday, Saturday and Sunday stood at over 3.2 million, the TSA said — despite pleas from public health officials to stay home as cases and deaths continue to climb.
The number marks a slight increase compared to the weekend before Thanksgiving, which saw just over 3 million travelers over the course of three days.
Almost 2 million more passed through airports Monday and Tuesday, according to the agencies.
Air travel has resurged this holiday season after the pandemic decimated the airline industry earlier in the year. Daily airport throughput dropped below 90,000 on some days at the height of the US lockdowns, according to TSA figures.
Still, the relatively busy pre-Christmas weekend pales in comparison to the same weekend last year, when the number of daily travelers was nearly 60 percent higher.
On Tuesday, airport security screened 992,167 people — just over 50 percent the number of travelers on the same Tuesday in 2019.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged Americans not to travel during the holidays as the country faces a winter surge in coronavirus cases.
CDC officials recommend those who ignore the guidance to at least get tested for the virus before and after gathering with family.
More than 320,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.
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