Coronavirus Special Report
Year Three: Feb. 19-25, 2022
Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths top 944,000 as the national vaccination rate sticks around 65%. Boston drops its proof-of-vaccination rules and Los Angeles County ends its mask mandate. England drops all Coronavirus restrictions. Ireland drops masking requirements. The EU advises member nations to end Covid entry rules and testing and Italy drops them effective March 1. The DOT says 2021 air traffic was 27% below 2019's record total; passengers skewed more domestic than ever before. Washington-area airports were around 60% of 2019 volume. Atlanta/Hartsfield was about 68%. An exception? Austin/Bergstrom Airport. And more.

Coronavirus Update: Friday, February 25, 2022

While our eyes are glued to developments in Ukraine, a winter storm has whacked the travel system in the United States. According to, about 2,100 flights were cancelled Thursday with the disruptions centered on Dallas/Fort Worth and Dallas/Love airports. Today, 1,400 flights have already been dumped by noon Eastern time with heavy cancellations in New York and Boston. Here are today's other developments:
        When the twain meets   The TSA says 1,980,803 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints yesterday. That is more than 83% of volume on a similar day in 2020. Thursday seems to be developing into "change" day when frequent flyers returning home and leisure travelers starting a holiday converge on airports.
        A new view   The CDC is expected to substantially alter its masking guidance today and might quicken the pace that jurisdictions shed their mask mandates. The Associated Press has details.
        Masks off, eh?   Nova Scotia will begin to ease Coronavirus restrictions at the end of the month with all restrictions ending on March 21, the Canadian province has announced.
        The Swedish system   Sweden went its own way on Coronavirus mitigation and it generally eschewed lockdowns and other strong measures. A post mortem on the approach by a government commission says the Swedish way worked. But there were serious errors of omission and commission. Reuters has details.
        Tale of two cities   Asia's two city-state financial powers, Singapore and Hong Kong, have taken different roads in their fight against Coronavirus. It looks like Singapore has taken the much wiser path. Agence France-Presse has details.
        Hotel hot sheets   Nationwide U.S. hotel occupancy was 59.1% for the week ended February 19. That's lodging's best weekly performance in months, according to hotel statisticians STR, and reflects an influx of guests for the President's Day Weekend.

Coronavirus Update: Thursday, February 24, 2022

Russia invaded Ukraine in the early hours of this morning. It appears to be a wide-ranging attack aimed at upending and replacing the elected, anti-Putin Ukrainian government and replacing it with a puppet regime. Here are today's other developments:
        Back to the future   The TSA says that 1,752,841 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints yesterday. That is 79.7% of volume on a similar day in 2019. That brings us right back to where we were before the President's Day boom.
        LA Unmasked   Los Angeles County, which covers about 10 million people, is lifting most of its indoor mask mandate starting tomorrow. The Los Angeles Times has details.
        Poland stays masked   Poland will lift most of its remaining coronavirus restrictions on March 1, but it will keep in place a mask mandate for public transportation and indoor venues. The New York Times has details.
        Under water Down Under   Qantas lost A$1.28 billion (US$925.57 million) for the six months ended December 31. That's more than A$25 billion higher than the second half of 2020.
        Emergency ends   Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ended use of the Emergencies Act, the law deployed to break up the so-called Freedom Convoy. Right-wing supporters of the convoy had insisted Trudeau would cling to the extra powers. The CBC has details.

Coronavirus Update: Wednesday, February 23, 2022

For the third time, the U.S. Supreme Court turned away a challenge to the Maine vaccine mandate for health care works. The Portland Press Herald has details. Here are today's other developments:
        President's Day hangover   The TSA says that 1,780,987 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints yesterday. That is 78.3% of volume on a similar Tuesday in 2019, a sharp fall from the weekend volume.
        Ireland unmasking   Ireland is loosening its Coronavirus restrictions. Effective February 28, masks will no longer be required except on public transportation and in health care settings. Details are here.
        EU says loosen up   The European Council is recommending that EU nations lift all testing and quarantine requirements for people who received vaccines authorized by the EU. The guidance--and it is just that, non-binding recommendations--is effective March 1.
        Italy's in   Just hours after the EU advice above, Italy announced it would begin dismantling its Coronavirus regulations. Effective March 1, visitors will no longer be required to test before entering the country. Proof of vaccine or recovery from Covid is all that will be required. Prime Minister Mario Draghi added that Italy's state of emergency will expire on March 31 and the country will dismantle its "green pass" rules for entry to public places and dining and drinking establishments. WantedinRome has details.
        Storm warnings   Eurocontrol says that continent-wide airline traffic was 70.4% of 2019 volume during the week ended February 20. That's up 1.2% from the previous week despite fierce storms on the continent last week.

Coronavirus Update: Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Russia's de facto invasion of Ukraine is sucking up all the media oxygen today, of course, but it is worth noting that the Canadian Parliament late last night gave its ascent to the Emergencies Act measures that the Trudeau Administration used to break up the so-called Freedom Convoy. The CBC has details. Here are today's other developments:
        President's Day boom   After processing more than 6 million passengers through U.S. airport security checkpoints over the weekend, the TSA says another 2,215,453 people traveled on Monday. That is 95% of volume on a similar Monday in 2019.
        Austin against the world   The Transportation Department says passenger traffic in 2021 was down more than 25% compared to 2019. Austin/Bergstrom, not so much. Austin, the boomtown, has a booming airport, too, and its traffic is now outpacing 2019 numbers. The Austin American-Statesman has details.
        Hong Kong testing   The residents of Hong Kong will be required to undergo three rounds of Coronavirus testing, the government announced today (local time). Agence France-Presse has details.
        New Zealand nasty   New Zealand's response to the Coronavirus has been hailed around the globe. But now some right-wing activists, encouraged by the chaos caused by the so-called Freedom Convoy, have gone berserk, including driving a car at police. The Associated Press has details.
        Despicable Disney   Disney Parks hiked prices and slashed services great and small during the pandemic. Now even Disney's rabid fans are no longer supporting the company's rapacious approach to customers. has details.

Coronavirus Update: Monday, February 21, 2022

Today is President's Day, a national holiday in the United States. The current President continued to attempt to head off a Russian invasion of Ukraine. The most recent former guy launched a Twitter rip-off that promptly crashed. Its new logo also seems to infringe on one used by Trailar, a British travel services start-up. Here are today's other developments:
        Busy   Around 6.1 million people passed through TSA security checkpoints at U.S. airports over the holiday weekend (Friday-Sunday). That's nearly a million more than the previous weekend and 90% of 2019 volume during a similar February period. Also notable: The TSA said it cleared 2,241,123 people on Friday, the highest one-day volume since November 28, 2021, the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
        The other side of the mountain   There were 699,132 new Coronavirus cases in the United States during the last week, according to Johns Hopkins. That's down about 40% from the previous week and about one third of the more than 2 million cases two weeks ago. The death toll also fell, to 15,151, although that was only a decline of about 1,000.
        England emerges   Hours later than planned and just a day after it was revealed that Queen Elizabeth has a "mild" case of Covid, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this evening (local time) the end of all Coronavirus-related restrictions in England. Also going: nationwide free Covid testing. It'll now be free only for at-risk people.
        The end of the road   Using law-enforcement personnel from around Canada, Ottawa cleared the so-called Freedom Convoy from the heart of the Canadian capital. There were nearly 200 arrests and dozens of trucks were towed and/or impounded. The anti-vax/anti-mask/anti-sanity crowd had disrupted the city for more than three weeks. CTV News has details.
        Swept away   Slovenia says entry requirements--testing, proof of vaccination and quarantines--are no longer in force. "Covid-19 is no longer considered a quarantine disease and ... there is no longer any reason to restrict entry," the health ministry said. Effective today, Slovenia also ends Coronavirus restrictions on shops, services, and other businesses.

Coronavirus Update: Weekend, Feb. 19-20, 2022

The Department of Transportation says U.S. scheduled airlines carried 670.4 million passengers in 2021. That's nearly double the traffic in 2020, but still 27% below 2019's record volume. The travel mix changed a bit, too. Last year, 91% of all passengers were domestic compared to 88% in 2019. Here are this weekend's other developments.
        Boston bails  Boston has lifted all proof-of-vaccine requirements effective immediately. That includes restaurants and similar retail establishments. WBZ Television has details.
        Of course ...   A Marine Corps reservist charged with entering the Capitol during the riot and insurrection on January 6, 2021, is now accused of conspiring to steal, forge and distribute fraudulent coronavirus vaccination cards. The New York Times has details.
        Hartsfield humbled   Atlanta/Hartsfield, which fusses over everything, including what people call the airport, is now fussing over its 2021 traffic and global ranking. It handled 75.5 million flyers last year, 32% below its record 2019 count of 110.5 million. Local authorities worry that it'll cause Hartsfield to lose ground in the race to be the world's busiest airport. It's a race no customer cares about, but ...
        Washington wilts  Even at the reduced level of 2021 custom, Hartsfield handles ten times the passengers of Washington's key airports. About 7 million people used Washington/National last year, around 59% of 2019 volume. Dulles Airport handled about 7.4 million or around 60% of pre-pandemic levels.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for February 12-18

Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths top 931,000. Washington ends proof-of-vaccine requirement for most businesses. Business travel flying continues to lag leisure numbers. France ends entry-testing requirement for fully vaccinated visitors. Flight volume between U.S. gateways and London/Heathrow remains down sharply. Two major cruise lines and Disneyland drop mask mandates. Germany, Austria and the Netherlands slowly lift national Covid restrictions. Switzerland ends all its Coronavirus entry requirements. Canada says it will accept some antigen tests to enter the country. Hawaii is last state to maintain all its mask mandates. Two years into the pandemic, Cathay Pacific is carrying fewer than 800 passengers a day and Hong Kong is turning hotel rooms into hospital space. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for February 5-11

Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths top 915,000 as the national vaccination rate finally reaches 65%. Nevada abruptly lifts indoor mask mandate hours before bettors flood casinos on Super Bowl weekend. Australia opens it borders on February 21. Spain expects two-thirds of 2019's travel volume this year. Italy drops outdoor mask mandate and Finland ends testing for travelers entering the country. California, New York, Nevada and a slew of other states end some mask mandates. Hawaii won't require a booster shot to visit. Malaysia may open borders in March. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for Jan. 29-February 4

Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths top 896,000. National vaccination rate remains below 65%. Denver is ending its mask and vaccine mandates, but New York State extends its mask rules. China's largest airlines may have lost US$7 billion in 2021. Iowa will end all Covid measures and data reporting. Dominican Republic now the most visited country in the Caribbean. Scandinavian countries dismantle their Covid restrictions. The U.S. Virgin Islands no longer requires entry tests for vaccinated travelers. New Zealand may welcome visitors from North America as early as spring. Winter storms play havoc with daily travel. Denver Airport traffic in December was down only about 7% compared to 2019. Spain retains, then scraps, its outdoor mask mandate. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for January 22-28

Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths top 878,000. National vaccination rate stalls around 64%. U.S. flying in January plummets. European nations begin lifting or loosening Covid rules. Asia travel all but disappeared last year. Worldwide airline passenger traffic in 2021 was just 42% of 2019 levels. Four of the ten largest European airlines are operating at or below 50% of 2019 capacity. Major routes between Europe and the United States have as many as 44% fewer flights than in 2019. The United States and China continue war over seat capacity. Hong Kong cuts arrival quarantines to 14 days. Rio delays its Carnival parades. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for January 15-21

Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths top 860,000. The national vaccination rate hangs below 64%. U.S. flying plunges while winter storm leads to thousands of cancellations over the King Day weekend. Two transatlantic flights return to departure airports after passengers disrupted operations. Europe aircraft traffic is at lowest rate since September and Eurostar passengers fell 85% last year compared to 2019. About 33 million seats disappear from worldwide winter schedules as airlines slash schedules to cope with Omicron. Sweden, Austria and Thailand loosen entry rules. Emirates Airline won't accept proctored antigen tests from U.S.-bound flyers even though they are accepted by the United States for re-entry. Amtrak cuts schedules through March. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for January 8-14

Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 846,000. The national vaccination rate crawls past 63%. U.S. post-holiday flying numbers tumble. American Airlines says it won't fire vaccine holdouts. United says sick calls are extremely high while Delta threatens flight attendants over time off for positive tests. Qantas, Finnair and Virgin Australia slash schedules. Amtrak says fiscal 2022 revenue will be down 20% on pre-pandemic levels. New Orleans reinstates indoor mask mandate, but the Paris outdoor mask rule is overturned. Sweden orders restaurants and bars to close early. Heathrow Airport traffic plunges in December. The United States continues fighting with China over flights and schedules. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for January 1-7

Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 834,000. The national vaccination rate reaches 63%. France clamps down on unvaccinated U.S. visitors while Cyprus demands negative PCR tests of all arrivals. Hong Kong and Macao ban all flights from the United States, Canada and other countries. England and Ireland ease testing rules for entry. Bad weather, Covid absentees and dreadful airline management lead to an end-of-the-year flying disaster that has dragged into this week. Global airline seat capacity was down 35% in 2021. Every cruise ship sailing in U.S. waters has reported Coronavirus cases and the CDC is investigating. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

2021 Daily Coronavirus Updates

The year began with hope and vaccines. It ended with Omicron, new lockdowns and restrictions that foiled plans for a return to the "normal" of travel. You can see everything we posted in bullet-point form, grouped into weekly segments, by clicking 2021's archives.

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.