Coronavirus Special Report
Year Three: Mar. 26-Apr. 1, 2022
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 980,000. The national vaccination rate is stuck around 66% and vaccinations have fallen to the lowest rate since December, 2020. A new passenger punch-up at Southwest Airlines. January passenger traffic in the United States remained a third below 2019 "norms," but 19 days in March surpassed 2 million travelers at U.S. airports. Europe aircraft traffic continues to climb despite Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Two late legal challenges to the mask mandate. Global airline capacity grows 3% during the first week of spring. Airline traffic in Asia was down more than 90% in February. Some flyers are still fighting for refunds on flights the airlines canceled during the pandemic. And more.

Coronavirus Update: Friday, April 1, 2022

A federal judge in New York ruled yesterday that two flyers can continue to pursue their class-action suit against Turkish Airlines for cancelling their flights during the pandemic and then refusing refunds. Turkish tried to have the suit dismissed for a buffet of reasons, but the judge rejected them all. He says the flyers, who received refunds only after they filed suit against Turkish, have grounds for damages. Here are today's other developments:
         Out like a lion   The TSA says that 2,196,867 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. That is 91.1% of volume in 2019 on a similar Thursday in late March. It was also the 19th day in March when more than 2 million travelers used U.S. airports.
         Bye, Felicia   After several weeks of ineffective protests in and around the nation's capital, the so-called People's Convoy pulled up stakes and left their temporary squat in Hagerstown, Maryland. Its legacy: foiled by Beltway traffic, embarrassed by a lone bicycle rider and suspected in several assaults. The Washington Post has details.
         But Joe Rogan said ...   Widely derided as horse and sheep medicine, Ivermectin, which does have limited human uses--was embraced as a panacea by the anti-vax/anti-mask/anti-everything crowd. Except the latest and largest clinical study of the drug's effectiveness against Coronavirus shows it does not work no matter what Joe Rogan says. The New York Times has details.
         More rooms at the inn   The national average hotel occupancy for the week ended March 26 declined slightly to 65.5%, according to lodging statistician STR.
         Welcome to Latvia   Effective today, Latvia has ended all Covid-related entry requirements. Visitors entering the Baltic country no longer must present proof of vaccination or recovery or a negative test certificate.
         On second thought ...   Italy abruptly extended by one month the requirement for visitors to show proof of vaccination or recovery or a negative test result. A digital passenger locator form must also be completed. These rules will now be in place until at least April 30.

Coronavirus Update: Thursday, March 31, 2022

You have to wonder why this has taken so long: All of the government's relevant information on the Coronavirus--local infection rates, vaccination sites, orders for home tests, etc.--are now in one place, logically called Here are today's other developments:
         Wednesday rising   The TSA says 1,887,350 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. That is 87.7% of volume in 2019 on a similar Wednesday in late March. It's also about a third more traffic than a similar day last year.
         Asia remains grounded   In February, 2.5 million passengers flew on carriers aligned with the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines. That's only 8.4% of the 30.3 million passengers in February, 2019. The trade group represents 14 of the region's largest carriers.
         It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Super-immunity!   About half the nation has been infected with one Coronavirus variant or another. But medical experts are beginning to wonder if some people have "super-immunity" to the disease. Bloomberg News has details.
         Shanghai surprise   Like airlines, China never apologizes. But its dreadful response to a Covid spike in Shanghai has caused even the all-powerful Chinese Communist Party to feign contrition. "We sincerely accept everyone's criticism, and are working hard to improve," one Shanghai bureaucrat said publicly. Agence France-Presse has details.
         Hong Kong goes long on Covid   Shanghai isn't alone in mishandling China's latest surge of Covid. Hong Kong has been a mess and its once-vaunted health care system has collapsed. Now it has extended its Covid-19 restrictions until September and raised fines for violating testing rules. Hong Kong Free Press has details.

Coronavirus Update: Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Well, that was fast. Just hours after the FDA yesterday approved a second booster of Covid vaccines for people over 50, the CDC signed off, too. Walgreens and Rite Aid, two huge drug chains, say they'll offer the shots immediately. Here are today's other developments:
         Tuesday tumble   The TSA says that 1,736,292 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. That is 85.6% of volume in 2019 on a similar day in late March. However, it is the slowest day for total traffic since March 8.
         Cruise with confidence   The CDC has dropped its Covid risk assessment of cruise travel after more than two years of warning travelers against cruising during the pandemic. USA Today has details.
         They vaccinate horses, don't they?   Who knew? There's a medical effort to vaccinate wildlife against Covid. The Associated Press has details.
         The President takes a shot   President Joe Biden, who is 79, got his second booster shot today, just hours after the CDC signed off and hours before they become available to the public. The Guardian has details.

Coronavirus Update: Tuesday, March 29, 2022

The FDA has approved a fourth does of Coronavirus vaccine--or a second booster if you will--for people over the age of 50. The FDA stressed it favored making the new booster available and was not urging people to take it. The additional shot would be permitted after the CDC also signs off. Here are today's other developments:
         That last 10%   The TSA says that 2,131,678 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. That is 90.3% of volume in 2019 on a similar day in late March.
         Which half are you?   More than half of Americans say they've had Covid at some point in the last two years, according to a new Monmouth University poll. The Washington Post has details.
         Now they sue? The federal mask mandate has been in effect since late January, 2021. Airlines had imposed their own mandates before that. But now some publicity-seeking parties are suing to end the mandate, scheduled to expire on April 18. One suit comes from a few disgruntled flight attendants, odd since flight attendant's union chief Sara Nelson has been one of the most vociferous supporters of the mandate. The other suit comes from 21 states, virtually all run by Republican governors. Both face long odds, based partly on the short time left to the mandate and partly because courts have already turned away all challenges to the mandate.
         Spring forward   How's the first week of spring going? Global airline capacity has increased back to 83.4 million seats, an increase of 2.6 million or 3% week-on-week. The statistics were compiled by OAG, the airline schedulekeepers.

Coronavirus Update: Monday, March 28, 2022

Americans who don't have health insurance will start to see some free Covid testing options disappear. Why? Health care providers aren't being reimbursed because Congress could not agree to continue emergency Coronavirus funding. ABC News has details. Here are today's other developments:
        Just a bit less close to normal   The TSA says only about 6.6 million people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints this weekend (Friday-Sunday). That is 91.4% of comparative volume in 2019 and a slight decline from the previous weekend this month.
        A high plateau   There were 213,412 new Coronavirus cases in the United States during the last week, according to Johns Hopkins. That's a few thousand higher than the previous week. The death toll was 5,355, down a few hundred from the previous week. If this is the plateau, we're still distressingly high.
        Shanghaied   The price of Brent crude oil, which most closely tracks the price of jet fuel, tumbled on world markets today. It settled today at $109.49, down from $117+ on Friday. Aftermarket trading has shaved about $3 more off the price of a barrel. The reason: China's lockdown of its second-largest city, Shanghai, is expected to sharply lower energy demand in the immediate future.
        Another Europe surprise   Europe flights averaged 21,084 per day for the week ended March 27, says Eurocontrol, which operates the continent's air traffic control system. That's up 2.6% from the previous week and represents 75.7% of 2019 aircraft volume, a continuing surprise given the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent airspace closures.
        Remember normal?   U.S. airlines carried 46.3 million passengers in January, 33.2% more than last year. But it's still 34% fewer than in pre-pandemic January, 2020, when things were "normal." The statistics are based on preliminary reports filed with the Department of Transportation.

Coronavirus Update: Weekend, March 26-27 2022

The pace of vaccinations and boosters has fallen to the lowest level since the shots began to be administered in December, 2020. The Washington Post has details. Here are this weekend's other developments.
        Locked down again   Despite repeated assurances to the contrary, Shanghai is going back into lockdown again. This time it will be a "phased" version--one half of the sprawling city of 25 million at a time--for China's financial center. Agence France-Presse has details.
        Southwest punching bag   A man was arrested at Atlanta/Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta earlier in the week after he punched a Southwest Airlines employee. The Southwest agent was restrained by other staffers from punching back. CNN has the details.
        Singapore rebounding   The hotel industry in Singapore is showing signs of recovery with a 65.3% occupancy rate, a rise of 6.5 points from last year's second quarter. This is even before Singapore fully reopens to visitors in April, according to CBRE, a commercial real estate services and investment firm.
        Make of it what you will ...   Covid is killing more people per 100,000 in red states than in blue states, a reflection of GOP resistance to vaccines and lax Coronavirus restrictions. Axios has details.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for March 19-March 25:

Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 975,000. The national vaccination rate is stalled around 66%. Hong Kong and Singapore reopen to visitors in April. Austria reimposes a mask mandate as new infections rise again. Shanghai Disneyland closes again. China issues new stay-at-home orders for millions of residents. Spring Break traffic is near 2019 "norms" and is 11 times the volume of 2020, when Coronavirus first hit travel. A chain of Covid testing sites named O'Hare performed about how you'd expect. Hotel occupancy is bouncing back. South Africa drops testing for vaccinated travelers entering the country. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for March 12-March 18:

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. 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. Click here for the week's updates.

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.