Coronavirus Special Report
Year Three: March 5-11, 2022
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 965,000 and the global death toll has passed six million. The national vaccination rate is stalled below 66%. Hawaii and Ontario drop their indoor mask mandates. Ireland, Belgium, Romania and Hungary drop their entry restrictions, but Luxembourg says leisure travelers are still not welcome. Taiwan and Saudi Arabia loosen Covid restrictions. Malaysia reopens to vaccinated tourists on April 1. United Airlines says its unvaccinated employees may return to work. And more.

Coronavirus Update: Friday, March 11, 2022

The Justice Department has appointed a lead prosecutor to investigate fraud in Covid relief funds. has details of the appointment while says Covid fraud may be as high as $8 billion. Here are today's other developments:
        Busy Thursday   The TSA says 2,184,044 people passed through checkpoints at U.S. airports yesterday, the highest one-day total so far in March. It's also 87.2% of 2019 volume.
        Ontario is unmasked   Ontario, Canada's most populous province, will drop its indoor mask mandate on March 21. The New York Times has details.
        Das Ende   Austria was the first country in Europe to mandate a Coronavirus vaccine by law and more than 80% of the population is protected. But Austrian authorities have suspended the mandate as the rate of new Covid cases has declined. has details.
        Romania reopens   The Romanian Interior Ministry has lifted all of the country's Covid-related restrictions. Visitors are no longer required to present Covid-19 documents for entry, border crossings have reopened and all mask mandates have been lifted.
        The China Syndrome   Changchun, a Chinese city of nine million, was ordered into lockdown on Friday (local time) and Shanghai has shut its schools. China is fighting its largest Covid outbreak in two years. Agence France-Presse has details.
        More room at the inn   Nationwide hotel occupancy fell to 61.2% for the week ended March 5, according to lodging statisticians STR. No Top 25 hotel markets showed an occupancy increase over 2019, STR added.

Coronavirus Update: Thursday, March 10, 2022

I know it seems like the pandemic is over and we can take heart that Johns Hopkins recorded just 40,000 new cases in the last 24 hours. That is down nearly 80% from the daily highs recorded earlier this year. But here's a very distressing counterpoint: There were nearly 2,000 Covid deaths in the last day. So your call on where we stand. Here are today's other developments:
        Close to normal?   The TSA says 1,844,208 people passed through checkpoints at U.S. airports yesterday. That's 84.3% of 2019 volume.
        Welcome back   United Airlines says unvaccinated workers who received medical or religious exemptions from the carrier's vaccine mandate will be permitted to return to work. They have been on unpaid leave. The Wall Street Journals has details.
        Maybe call him Novax Djerkovic?   The tennis star Novak Djokovic, who couldn't defend his Australian Open title when he was tossed out of the country because he wasn't vaccinated, apparently never learns. He's had to withdraw from two upcoming U.S. tournaments because he cannot enter the United States as an unvaccinated visitor. ESPN has details.
        This is your brain on Covid   What affect does Covid-19 have on the brain? The experts aren't sure of the exact impact, but they know it's not good. Bloomberg News has details.
        Never mind ...   Just days ago, Hong Kong officials insisted they were prepared to repeatedly test the entire population of the city-state. Now? Not so much. Agence France-Presse has details.

Coronavirus Update: Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Global airline capacity is around 82 million seats this week, according to OAG. That's 23% below pre-pandemic capacity during a similar week in 2019. Here are today's other developments:
        Dividing day   The TSA says that 1,644,052 people passed through checkpoints at U.S. airports yesterday. It's the first time this year that volume passed passenger counts on a similar day in 2020, no surprise since traffic began to lag in March as Americans grappled with the start of the pandemic. The volume on Tuesday was only 77.5% of 2019 traffic, however.
        Masks off   Hawaii is dropping its statewide indoor mask mandate at 11:59pm March 25 (local time). Governor David Ige also reaffirmed that the state's Covid-oriented entry requirements will end at the same time. KHON2 Honolulu television has details.
        Hungary for tourists   Hungary has dropped all Covid-related entry rules. Proof-of-vaccination rules and the need for testing on entry has ended.
        Canada calls it   Air Canada’s largest flight attendant union was not obligated to file a grievance on behalf of some members who opposed the airline’s enforcement of Canada's vaccine mandate. The National Post has details.
        Stupid is as stupid does   So what happens to the anti-vax/anti-mask crazies after the vaccine and mask mandates expire? They turn their "attention" to pumping out ludicrous disinformation about Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Global News has details.
        Sunwing sanctions   The notorious "party flight" hosted by Sunwing Airlines that featured travelers breaking just about every rule of in-flight Covid travel is having repercussions. At least six flyers on the run from Montreal to Cancun have now been fined. CBC News has details.

Coronavirus Update: Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Nearly 60% of Americans have not contracted Covid-19. What are the odds that they never will? The San Francisco Chronicle has details and informed speculation. Here are today's other developments:
        Two million served   The TSA says that 2,017,973 people passed through checkpoints at U.S. airports yesterday. It's the fourth day in March with more than 2 million passengers.
        Belgian brief   Starting March 11, visitors will no longer be required to complete and submit a passenger locator form.
        No April Fools   Malaysia will re-open to vaccinated tourists on April 1. This country's many islands have been closed since March, 2020. Agence France-Presse has details.
        Puerto Rico unmasked   The governor of Puerto Rico on Monday lifted the territory’s mask mandate for most places on the island. The New York Times has details.
        Brain drain II   There was a "brain drain" of Hong Kong elites in the years just before the city-state was handed over to China by Britain in 1987. Now Chinese repression and the raging pandemic are apparently leading to still another brain drain. Agence France-Presse has details.
        Florida doctor   Florida's controversial surgeon general, who has constantly questioned the science of masks, vaccines and even the Coronavirus itself, has a new thought: Despite CDC guidance and evidence to the contrary, Dr. Joseph Ladapo says healthy children should not be vaccinated. The Miami Herald has details.

Coronavirus Update: Monday, March 7, 2022

The global death rate from Coronavirus has passed 6 million. The global number of cases, according to Johns Hopkins, has reached 450 million. has details. Here are today's other developments:
        On the treadmill   More than 6.1 million people passed through TSA security checkpoints at U.S. airports over the weekend (Friday-Sunday). It's almost the same number as the last weekend in February, but represents a slightly smaller slice (85.5%) of pre-pandemic in 2019.
        Still dropping   There were 323,820 new Coronavirus cases in the United States during the last week, according to Johns Hopkins. That's down about a third from the previous week. The death toll fell sharply to 9,986, down almost 20% from the previous week. But keep it in perspective. That is still an average of more than 1,400 deaths a day.
        What if they gave a protest ...   The so-called People's Convoy of anti-vax/anti-mask trucker did a loop of The Beltway around Washington today--and almost nobody noticed. The Washington Post has details.
        Ireland's open   Visitors to Ireland can now party like it's 2019. Effective immediately, you are no longer required to show proof of vaccine to enter the country and no longer must fill in a passenger locator form.
        Luxembourg's not open   Luxembourg has extended travel restrictions until June 30. That means no leisure travel into the Grand Duchy until at least that date.
        This is where we started   China on Monday (local time) reported its highest number of Covid cases in two years as clusters emerged in more than a dozen cities. Agence France-Presse has details.

Coronavirus Update: Weekend, March 5-6, 2022

The so-called People's Convoy of anti-vaccine/anti-mask/anti-everything protesters did not exactly strangle Washington. They had hoped to gridlock the Beltway road network surrounding the District of Columbia, but didn't realize that the Beltway is always gridlocked. The small protest was separated by Sunday traffic. The Washington Post has details. Here are this weekend's other developments.
        Saudi settles   Saudi Arabia has lifted almost all Coronavirus restrictions including masking and social distancing rules. The exception: Masks will still be required in mosques located in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
        The Island way   People in Taiwan are no longer required to wear masks in outdoor and indoor settings where they were previously mandatory.
        Incredibly long Covid   A New Mexico man has left the hospital after being treated for Covid-19 for more than 550 days. Albuquerque TV station KOB4 has details.
        Train troubles   Commuter rail systems around the country continue to suffer as passenger volume remains low. The reason? As employees continue to work remotely, there's no need to shuttle into the office. The Washington Post has details.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for Feb. 26-March 4:

Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 956,000 while national vaccination rate remains below 66%. Hotels are charging us lots more while they offer much less. Hawaii will drop entry tests and proof-of-vaccination rules before the end of the month and Bali ends mandatory quarantines on March 14. Philadelphia and Boston drop indoor mask mandates and New York City will end its proof-of-vaccine rules. Bad drivers created havoc on the nation's roads during the height of the pandemic. U.S. airline traffic during the last weekend of February reached 90% of 2020 volume. U.S. carriers operated 78% of pre-pandemic schedules in 2021. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for February 19-25

Read all about it! U.S. Coronavirus deaths top 944,000 as the national vaccination rate stalls around 65%. Boston drops proof-of-vaccination rules and Los Angeles County ends mask mandate. England drops all Coronavirus restrictions. Ireland drops masking requirements. 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 as passengers skewed more domestic than ever before. Washington-area airports were around 60% of 2019 volume. Atlanta/Hartsfield was about 68%. Notable exception? Austin/Bergstrom Airport. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

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.