Coronavirus Special Report
Year Three: March 12-18, 2022
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 970,000, but new cases have plunged since January peaks. The national vaccination rate finally reaches 66%. Canada drops testing requirement for fully vaccinated visitors starting on April 1. Flying for Spring break is roaring. Heathrow Airport and British airlines drop their mask mandates. New Zealand and South Korea welcome tourists again starting in April. Domestic airline traffic fell 27.3% in 2021 and global seat capacity remains 22% below pre-pandemic highs. Miami Airport reports busiest day in its history. Shenzhen locks down and China closes parts of Shanghai, too. And more.

Coronavirus Update: Friday, March 18, 2022

Moderna has now followed Pfizer and asked the FDA to approve a second booster dose of its vaccine. has details of the emergency-use request. Here are today's other developments:
        Millions and millions served   The TSA says 2,221,946 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints yesterday. That is a hefty 88.4% of the volume on a similar day in 2019. It is also the ninth day in March with daily traffic above the 2-million mark.
        Pacific lockdown   American Samoa has locked down after registering its first case of locally transmitted Coronavirus. The New York Times has details.
        La Dolce Vita   Italy's Covid state of emergency ends at the end of March and the government says April will mean the end of most Coronavirus restrictions. Especially notable: the functional end of the "super green pass" that has been required to eat in a restaurant, have a coffee or cocktail in a bar or visit a museum. The site has details.
        Dumb and dumber   The anti-vax crowd has a new crusade: pro-Putin propaganda. Because stupid is as stupid does or something. Politico has details of their attempt to blame Ukraine for being invaded.
        The sheep got sheared again   Surprise! Ivermectin, the animal medicine that also has limited human uses, doesn't reduce hospitalization rates if you get Coronavirus. So says the largest trial to date. The Wall Street Journal has details.
        Stuck in the lobby   The nationwide hotel occupancy rate for the week ended March 12 was 63.2%. That's nearly 10 points below a similar week in 2019, according to lodging statisticians STR.

Coronavirus Update: Thursday, March 17, 2022

Jeff Zients, who was the Biden Administration "Covid czar" since Inauguration Day, is stepping down. A management and logistics expert, his tenure was not free from criticism. The new boss? Dr. Ashish Jha, a well-known face to cable-news viewers and dean of Brown University's School of Public Health. The Washington Post has details. Here are today's other developments:
        Just roaring along   The TSA says that 1,993,734 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints yesterday. That's a hefty 85.9% of the volume on a similar day in 2019.
        No tests for you   Canada has announced that fully vaccinated visitors no longer must test for Covid before entering the country. The new policy--or, more accurately, the return to something like "normal"--is effective beginning April 1. CTV News has details.
        Luck of the Irish   Every year on March 17, the President of the United States and the Taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland meet at the White House to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and renew their ties. During the height of the pandemic, the meetings were virtual. This year, however, Taoiseach Micheál Martin flew to Washington to show that the pandemic was essentially ended. But (bad) luck of the Irish: Martin tested positive for Covid and the in-person meeting became a virtual get-together with Biden at the White House and Martin several hundred feet away at Blair House. Martin must spend ten days in the United States before he can return to Ireland. The Irish Independent has details.
        The crawling recovery   OAG, the airline industry schedulekeepers, says global capacity has "settled" at about 82 million seats a week. That remains 22% below 2020 capacity in early March, just before the pandemic decimated global traffic.
        Cathay Pacific should be so lucky   The world may be down 22% compared to the happy days before the pandemic, but Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways remains a shell of its former self. It carried just 31,253 passengers in February, down 98.9% compared to February, 2019.

Coronavirus Update: Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Pfizer officially asked the FDA for emergency authority to offer a second booster dose of its Covid vaccine to people over the age of 65. The Washington Post has details. Here are today's other developments:
        Two years was forever ago   The TSA says that 1,858,773 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints yesterday. That's almost exactly double the number of passengers who flew on a similar Tuesday in March, 2020, the first day when daily volume fell below one million passengers. By mid-April, 2020, daily passenger volume had fallen below 100,000.
        New Zealand (finally) busts out   New Zealand will begin a phased reopening of its borders to the rest of the world in April. Australia visitors will be first in line--a "travel bubble" between the two countries collapsed last year--and Americans should be welcome by early May. has details.
        WestJet gets normal   During its peak summer schedule, WestJet, the Canadian discounter, says it will operate on 94% of its pre-pandemic routes. That means about 600 daily departures to 43 domestic, 23 transborder, 16 Caribbean and eight transatlantic destinations, the airline says.
        No one's impressed   During the past six months, the TSA has imposed more than $640,000 in fines on passengers who have disrupted flights or flouted the in-flight mask mandate. That statistic was included in a new report issued by the Government Accounting Office. No one is impressed because we know no one is actually paying the fines, but The New York Times felt compelled to offer a credulous account of the report.
        Damned Yankees (and Mets)   New York City's vaccine mandate for private companies may bar many players for the New York Yankees and New York Mets from playing during the teams' home games. (The scenario has caused Kyrie Irving to miss all home games of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team this season.) The New York Daily news has details.

Coronavirus Update: Tuesday, March 15, 2022

This is ugly: The real death toll from Coronavirus may be triple the official estimates, according to a study published in The Lancet. You can read the study's methodology and full report at this site. Here are today's other developments:
        And the Brits shall lead us   Effective tomorrow, London/Heathrow lifts its mask mandate. And at least three airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, say they'll lift their in-flight mask mandates tomorrow, too. Of course, you'll continue to have to wear a mask between the U.S. and United Kingdom and wherever else the local authority requires it. Heathrow and the airlines are able to cut loose because England's restrictions end tomorrow.
        Miami nice   Miami International Airport says it handled 166,727 passengers on Sunday (March 13), making it the busiest day in MIA history.
        ThisClose to normal   The TSA says that 2,200,172 people passed through U.S. airport security checkpoints yesterday. That's a hefty 89% of 2019 volume as the Spring break period ramps up. It's also the eighth day in March above 2 million passengers.
        The doors open   South Korea says that it is dropping quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers effective April 1. That means the country is opening to tourism and travel again. The official details are here.
        Small progress   More than 2.3 million passengers traveled through Dublin Airport in the first two months of 2022. That's down 44% from the pre-Covid levels in 2020. Traffic should grow quickly, however, since Ireland eliminated most entry rules this month. The Irish Independent has details.

Coronavirus Update: Monday, March 14, 2022

The chief executive of Pfizer says that a fourth shot will be needed for most people to guard against Coronavirus. Of course, he and Pfizer make money the more shots he convinces us we need--and even he admits that two shots and one booster have been effective against Covid-19. has details. Here are today's other developments:
        Pre-Spring break   Nearly 6.6 million people passed through TSA security checkpoints at U.S. airports over the weekend (Friday-Sunday), a roaring start to Spring break. It represents 88.2% of traffic on a similar weekend in 2019.
        Careening down the mountain   There were 246,950 new Coronavirus cases in the United States during the last week, according to Johns Hopkins. That is a startling decline from the record-high 5.6 million new cases recorded just two months ago. The death toll is falling, too, down to 8,901. But more than 1,200 daily deaths is nothing to celebrate.
        A flying year that was   The Department of Transportation says 673.7 million people flew in 2021, down 27.3% from the all-time high of 926.8 million flyers in 2019. Domestic enplanements were off 24.6% from the all-time high of 811.5 million in 2019. International enplanements were much harder hit, however. The 61.8 million who flew overseas in 2021 was down a whopping 46.4% from the all-time high of 115.3 million in 2019.
        We have all been here before   China has locked down Shenzhen, the city of 17 million on the other side of the Hong Kong border. It is the tenth Chinese region that has been completely or partially locked down in recent days. That includes parts of Shanghai. Agence France-Presse has details.
        Europe surprise   Europe flights averaged 20,080 for the week ended March 13, according to Eurocontrol, which operates the continent's air traffic control system. While that is down 1.4% from the previous week, it represents 73.6% of 2019 aircraft volume, a surprise given the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent airspace closures.

Coronavirus Update: Weekend, March 12-13, 2022

One of the mysteries of the Coronavirus pandemic during the winter of 2020-21 was the surprisingly low amount of flu registered in the United States. This winter hasn't been so lucky as the Omicron variant and the flu both raged. Bloomberg News has details. Here are this weekend's other developments.
        While we weren't looking   It is one of the realities of life that journalists tend to look at Europe and Asia and even Australia and often ignore the rest of the Americas. So it shouldn't surprise you that one of the world's deadliest outbreaks--in Guayaquil, Ecuador--went largely unnoticed. The New Yorker has details.
        Friday frenzy   The TSA says that 2,297,374 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints on Friday (March 11). That was the highest one-day passenger count since November 28, 2021, the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
        December details   The Transportation Department says that 68.1 million travelers flew during December. That was down 14.4% from the all-time monthly high of 79.6 million people in January, 2020. International enplanements of 7.18 million in December fell 26.4% from the 9.76 million who traveled overseas in September, 2019, the busiest international month on record.
        Pacific problem   American Samoa skirted the Coronavirus for the better part of the last two years. No more. The islands locked down on February 22 and things continue to worsen. The New York Times has details.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for March 5-March 11:

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. Click here for the week's updates.

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.