Coronavirus Special Report
May 8-May 14, 2021
Read all about it! More than 30% 35% 36% of the nation has been fully vaccinated. More than 580,000 584,000 Americans have died from the virus. Daily airline traffic in the United States passes the 1.7-million mark--and 70% of 2019 volume--for the first time in more than 13 months. United Airlines, the only U.S. carrier serving India, cuts flights. England's reopening leaves U.S. visitors encased in amber. Australia won't open borders for another year. And more. Read from the bottom for context.

Coronavirus Update: Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Pfizer vaccine received its final sign-offs to be administered to children aged 12-15 in the United States. Vaccinations, mostly at pharmacies, start today. Here are today's other developments:
        Not fast enough   There were 35,878 new Coronavirus cases in the United States Wednesday, says Johns Hopkins. The death toll: 848. Both numbers are up slightly from Tuesday and experts say we've still got a long way to go before getting infections under control.
        Ripping off the mask   Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says the state's mask mandate and all remaining Coronavirus restrictions will end on June 2. Lone exception: Restrictions affecting nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
        Glide path   The TSA says 1,424,664 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints Wednesday. That is 60.8% of 2019 volume, the seventh consecutive day that traffic has been at or above 60% of 2019's levels.
        By the numbers   Despite the notable uptick in passengers, American Airlines chief revenue officer Vasu Raja says he doesn't expect yield to match 2019 levels. "Following Labor Day, we're seeing yields return to a more favorable level," he said yesterday at an investor conference.
        Moving the goal posts   The Champions League soccer match on May 29 has been moved to Porto, Portugal, from Istanbul. The sport's governing body says the move was made to allow supporters of the teams--Manchester City and Chelsea of England--to attend. Travel between Britain and Turkey is currrently suspended.
        No way, says Norway   Norway will not resume use of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Heath officials there suspended use of the AZ version on March 11. The country still hasn't decided whether to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said Wednesday.

Coronavirus Update: Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Slovakia has suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for first shots and it is investigating the death of a vaccinated person from blood clots. Here are today's other developments:
        This IS progress   There were 33,651 new Coronavirus cases in the United States on Tuesday, says Johns Hopkins. The death toll: 684. The daily new-case number is down about 90% from January highs, but it is still nearly double the rate registered on May 11, 2020.
        .6 of one   The TSA says 1,315,493 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints Tuesday. That is 60% of 2019 volume.
        Cruise news   Carnival Cruise Lines, the 800-pound gorilla of the seas, is now targeting a July launch for sailings from U.S. ports. That includes Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis has been trying to block vaccine passports. USA Today has the details.
        Vaso medio lleno   The tourism minister of Spain says he expects about 45 million visitors in 2021, about half the 2019 figure.
        The French way   Fans hoping to attend Roland Garros for the French Open tennis tournament will have to prove they have been vaccinated or show they have tested negative. Agence France-Presse has the details.
        New York state of mind   New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says students hoping to take in-person courses at the New York State or New York City university systems this fall must be vaccinated. Otherwise, students must take virtual courses.

Coronavirus Update: Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday cleared the Pfizer vaccine for children as young as 12 years old. Once it clears a CDC hurdle, vaccination of children can begin almost immediately. Here are today's other developments:
        Step back   The TSA says 1,657,722 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints Monday. That is 66% of 2019 volume, a slight step back from the weekend. Of course, it was only last week that traffic pushed past 1.6 million for the first time.
        Look out below   There were 36,231 new Coronavirus cases in the United States on Monday, says Johns Hopkins. The death toll: 399. Experts are now convinced that these rates are headed down permanently--at least as permanent as anything has been during the pandemic.
        DC doings   The District of Columbia will begin removing Coronavirus restrictions on May 21 and will lift them all by June 11. The mask mandate will remain, however.
        The China Syndrome   Marriott's leisure business in China is now above pre-pandemic levels, according to chief executive Tony Capuano. Corporate travel in March was 5% above 2019 levels.
         Go away, mate ...   Australia will keep borders closed to virtually all visitors until the second half of 2022, according to Josh Frydenberg, the country's federal treasurer. Frydenberg told the ABC network the decision is "a conservative, cautious assumption that international borders will gradually reopen from the middle of next year."

Coronavirus Update: Monday, May 10, 2021

More than 30 climbers infected with Coronavirus have been evacuated from the foot of Mount Everest in Nepal. Here are today's other developments:
        Another new high   The TSA says that 1,707,805 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints on Sunday. That is 70.6% of 2019 volume. It is the second time since the pandemic began that daily volume passed the 1.7-million mark and the second consecutive day that comparative volume passed 70%.
        Another new low   There were 21,392 new Coronavirus cases in the United States on Sunday, says Johns Hopkins. The death toll: 238. Weekend statistics are fragmentary and incomplete, but the good news is that these are the lowest rates since last summer.
        What passes for normal   Starting May 17, indoor hospitality venues will open their doors to the public in England, including restaurants, bars and cafes. There will be other relaxed rules as well. TheHill.com has the details.
        Worse than you think ...   Dr. Anthony Fauci disputes a University of Washington study that estimates U.S. Coronavirus deaths at more than 900,000. (The current official count is about 582,000.) But Fauci says "I think there's no doubt ... that we are and have been undercounting."
         ... And as bad as you thought   The Department of Transportation says that U.S. scheduled airlines reported a combined after-tax net loss of $35 billion and pre-tax operation loss of $46.5 billion.

Coronavirus Update: Sunday, May 9, 2021

Dr. Anthony Fauci told Meet the Press on NBC today that he thinks it "unlikely" there will be a fall or winter surge of Coronavirus. The game-changer? The availability of vaccines. Here are today's other developments:
        The seven(ty-one) percent solution   The TSA says that 1,429,657 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints on Saturday. That is 71% of 2019 volume, the first time above the 70% mark since the pandemic lows of mid-April, 2020.
        Even better   There were 34,493 new Coronavirus cases in the United States on Saturday, says Johns Hopkins. The death toll: 615. A reminder: Weekend statistics are fragmentary and incomplete.
        Pandemic insurance?   Ready to travel again, but worried that you might get caught in a nation where a Coronavirus outbreak closes the borders? There's insurance for that, says Forbes.
        Spain   has lifted its state of emergency for the first time in about six months. That allows locals to travel around the country again.
        Germany   today ended most restrictions on fully vaccinated citizens. Wearing masks and social distancing is still required, however. Separately, Bavaria opens restaurants, theaters, movie houses and beer gardens starting tomorrow. Hotels are expected to reopen on May 21.

Coronavirus Update: Saturday, May 8, 2021

Pakistan today began a nine-day shutdown of popular travel sites to curb an upsurge in Coronavirus infections that could be caused by crowds next week celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan. Heavy crowds at key areas during last year's Eid are blamed for an increase in new cases then. Here are today's other developments:
        Another "milestone" reached   The TSA says that 1,703,267 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints Friday. It is the first day to pass the 1.7 mark since mid-March, 2020.
        Better, but ...   There were 47,055 new Coronavirus cases in the United States Friday, says Johns Hopkins. The death toll: 837. Both are notably lower than last Friday, April 30, but still far too high.
        United Airlines   is dropping and/or delaying India flights as the subcontinent battles an epic surge of Coronavirus. The only U.S. carrier serving India nonstop, United will drop its Chicago-Delhi run on May 31. The oft-delayed launch of San Francisco-Bangalore nonstops, most recently due May 27, is being delayed until August. United says several other India runs--to Delhi from Newark and SFO and to Mumbai from Newark--will continue for the moment.
        Amber alert   England unveiled its three-tier "traffic light" system for entry into the country and the United States did not make "green." That means arrivals from the United States are still required to quarantine for 10 days. Only 13 regions, some as small as the Sandwich Islands, made the no-quarantine green zone. Full details are here.
        Cruising for a bruising   Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sued the CDC earlier this year and demanded cruise ships be allowed to resume sailings. Then he signed an executive order forbidding businesses from requiring customers to disclose their vaccination status. That's led at least one cruise giant, Norwegian, to suggest its ships won't call at or depart from Florida ports. The Washington Post has the details. Right-wing posters at Newsmax.com, much like DeSantis, seem unaware that navigable waters fall under federal, not state, jurisdiction.
        Check this out   Theme parks are starting to end the practice of temperature checks for visitors. Which makes sense since hand-held temperature devices are notoriously inaccurate and temperature is not a reliable indicator of Coronavirus positivity. NBC News has the details.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for May 1-May 7

Read all about it! More than 575,000 580,000 Americans have died from the virus. More than 27% 28% 29% 30% of the nation has been fully vaccinated. Daily airline traffic in the United States passes the 1.6-million mark for the first time in more than 13 months. The U.S. halts flights from India and Singapore imposes a 21-day quarantine on most arriving travelers. Costa Rica expects 2021 tourism to be worse than 2020. The Tasman flying bubble springs a leak. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for April 24-April 30

Read all about it! More than 570,000 575,000 Americans have died from the virus. More than 25% 26% 27% of the nation has now been fully vaccinated. Italy begins relaxing Coronavirus restrictions. Austria and Ireland will wait until mid-May. France's reopening comes in stages through June. French Polynesia reopens to U.S. visitors, but requires full vaccination and negative PCR test. The CDC says that cruises will resume this summer. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for April 17-April 23

Read all about it! Worldwide Coronavirus deaths pass the three-million mark and more than 565,000 570,000 Americans have died from the virus. About 25% of the nation has now been fully vaccinated. Canada keeps its land borders closed another month. A flight from Delhi to Hong Kong becomes a superspreader event. Alaska will offer visitors vaccines starting June 1. The Maldive Islands are now open without testing or quarantine to anyone fully vaccinated. More than 8,000 passenger aircraft remain in storage. Hotel occupancy falls to mid-March levels. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for April 10-April 16

Read all about it! More than 560,000 565,000 Americans have died from the virus and more than 21% of the nation has been fully vaccinated. But new-case numbers are rising quickly. U.S. flying slows from the Easter rush. Several South American and Asian countries tighten Covid restrictions. Malta will pay tourists--in cash, not falcons--to visit this summer. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for April 3-April 9

Read all about it! More than 553,000 555,000 560,000 Americans have died from the virus and more than 155 160 165 170 175 million vaccine doses have been administered. New cases and deaths spike up despite increased vaccinations. April is off to a (literal) flying start and airline traffic is the busiest since mid-March of 2020. The CDC bungled messaging aimed at vaccinated travelers. Europe flying is still just 40% of normal. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for March 27-April 2

Read all about it! The CDC says fully vaccinated Americans can fly and travel again. More than 547,000 550,000 553,000 Americans have died from the virus. More than 135 140 145 150 154 million vaccine doses have been administered. U.S. flying roars back and was 52.5% of 2019 volume. American Airlines says bookings are 90% of 2019 levels and United says domestic leisure demand has almost returned to normal. European nations continue to lock down, however. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for March 20-26

Read all about it! More than 540,000 545,000 547,000 Americans have died from Coronavirus while 30 million people have been infected. More than 115 120 125 130 133 million vaccine doses have been administered. U.S. flying briefly hits nearly 70% of 2019 volume, but some travelers (and pilots) behave badly. Europe continues to lock down, but Germany reverses its draconian Easter shutdown. The U.S.-Canada land border remains closed another month. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for March 13-19

Read all about it! More than 532,000 535,000 540,000 Americans have died from the virus. More than 100 105 115 million doses of vaccine have been administered. Travel is roaring back in the United States as flying and hotel occupancy both hit post-pandemic highs. Starved for vaccines--and worried about the AstraZeneca version--Europe is doing less well. Italy, the first Western epicenter of the Coronavirus, locks down again. A late winter storm buries Denver International. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for March 6-12

Read all about it! More than 522,000 525,000 530,000 532,000 Americans have died from the virus. It's been a year since the outbreak was officially declared a pandemic. States continue to reopen business and dining venues, but many European countries move back to lockdown. March flying in the United States ticks up. The CDC says fully vaccinated people can mingle more freely--but shouldn't travel. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for February 27-March 5

Read all about it! More than 510,000 515,000 520,000 522,000 Americans have died from Coronavirus. Europe is locking down again but U.S. states rush to shed their mask mandates and other restrictions. February flying traffic roars to a close and early March looks good by comparison. Texas' weather woes led to a surge in hotel occupancy. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for February 20-26

Read all about it! More than 495,000 500,000 505,000 510,000 Americans have died from Coronavirus and new-case numbers are edging up again. Travel-industry numbers for 2020 were brutal and the first quarter looks even weaker. Italy marks a year after it became the Western epicenter of the disease. Boeing 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines grounded worldwide after Denver incident. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for February 13-19

Read all about it! More than 476,000 480,000 485,000 490,000 495,000 Americans have died, but the new-case number is slowly falling. There was a Valentine's Day/President's Day boomlet in flying. The government backs off plans to demand negative tests for domestic flights. Nasty winter storms snarl flying nationwide and basically ground Texas. Travel industry financial numbers remain startlingly bad. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for February 5-12

Read all about it! More than 452,000 455,000 460,000 465,000 465,000 475,000 Americans have died. The TSA sets fines for violating federal transportation mask mandates, but the states are again fighting over masking rules. Travel is in its February funk as the economic recovery stalls. There's little hope for an immediate rebound, either. Global hotel occupancy rates are atrocious. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for Jan. 30-Feb. 4

Read all about it! More than 435,000 440,000 445,000 450,000 452,000 Americans have died as we pass 26 million cases. California, South Carolina and Arizona are the riskiest states for Coronavirus transmission. Canada cracks down on snowbird flights and slaps testing requirements on all arrivals. The CDC codifies President Biden's executive order on masks for travel. Portugal, the epicenter of the current outbreak, closes the country's borders for two weeks. A winter storm in the Northeast disrupts the skeletal air system. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for January 23-29

Read all about it! More than 412,000 415,000 420,000 425,000 430,000 433,000 Americans have died as we pass the 25-million case mark. U.S. travel slumps as the traditional January downturn depresses flying. Israel again shuts down flights. Sweden and Finland bar their Nordic neighbors and European nations close their borders to many visitors. Airline fourth-quarter "earnings" are awful. Bricks-and-mortar retailers close shops by the hundreds. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for January 16-22

Read all about it! Global Coronavirus deaths pass the 2-million mark and near the 100-million case plateau. More than 390,000 395,000 400,000 405,000 410,000 412,000 have died in the United States as we near the 25-million case mark. The Biden Administration expects 100,000 additional deaths just in the next month. Flying sags in Europe as nations tighten lockdowns. The United States sees small Martin Luther King Weekend surge, then the January malaise. And much more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for January 9-15

Read all about it! Coronavirus cases globally surge and more than 367,000 370,000 375,000 380,000 385,000 390,000 have died in the United States. Flying is plunging after the New Year's rush. Airlines ban rowdy travelers flying back from last week's Capitol riots. Washington and the area's airports lock down ahead of next week's Inauguration. Travel numbers from 2020 continue to show the depth of the industry's crisis while current lockdowns force carriers to cut capacity again. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for January 1-8

The new year starts with more of the same: Coronavirus cases in the United States near 21 million and more than 345,000 350,000 355,000 360,000 365,000 367,000 have died. Canada and England make it even tougher to enter the country as other nations tighten Coronavirus restrictions. More travel shuts down. U.S. flying zigzags after a "huge" Christmas and New Year rush. Click here for the week's updates.

2020 Daily Coronavirus Updates

We began day-by-day tracking of the Coronavirus' effect on travel in late January last year. You can see everything we posted in bullet-point form, grouped into weekly segments, by clicking 2020's archives.