Checkpoint numbers from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are confirming what's already obvious. Travel numbers have declined sharply in recent days. In fact, airline travel in the United States has declined by roughly 2 million people per day when compared to this time last year. Sadly, the decline comes at a time of year when airlines are usually ramping up plans to accommodate a huge increase in travelers.
TSA officials were screening just over 2.5 million passengers per day at about this time last year. The picture is very different today. Just over 180,000 passengers are being screened daily by TSA agents around the country as March draws to a close. In fact, passenger numbers have been consistently declining each day since March 16. That was the last time the TSA reported screening over a million passengers in a day. You can continue to monitor the TSA's screening stats on the agency's website.
A number of TSA screening officers around the country have tested positive for COVID-19. The number was up to 63 officers by March 30, as of time of writing. In addition, another 20 non-screening employees have also tested positive for COVID-19. The 20 non-screening employees presumably had no or little contact with the traveling public.
There are some updates to know about if you'll be traveling by plane in the days or weeks to come. The first is that the TSA is offering some flexibility regarding your driver's license or state-issued identification if it expired on or after March 1 of this year. You'll still be able to use recently expired identification for 60 days after the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. The TSA is also temporarily allowing passengers to have up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer in a single container inside carry-on bags.