Coronavirus Special Report
Year Three: April 9-15, 2022
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 988,000. The national vaccination rate still below 67%. The CDC says the in-flight mask mandate will continue through May 3. JetBlue Airways has another weekend meltdown while airline traffic was close to 2019 "normal." The FAA proposes more than $150,000 in fines for two disruptive passengers. Philadelphia restores mask mandate for indoor public places. Thailand and Hong Kong are eliminating Covid rules. Vienna and South Korea loosen theirs. Traffic in Europe's skies nears 80% of 2019 volume, but travel in locked-down China plunges to 20% of normal. And more.

Coronavirus Update: Friday, April 15, 2022

Delta Air Lines is always first out of the box with quarterly financial results and its forward-looking assumptions. The highlights of its 1Q call this week with analysts: Delta says it expects to fly 84% of 2019 capacity in the second quarter and generate 93%-97% of the revenue it recorded in 2Q 2019. Here are today's other developments:
        A China syndrome   With about a third of China's population under some form of Coronavirus lockdown, air travel is taking a huge hit. Domestic flying has plunged to 20% of normal levels, according to Aireon, which tracks global air traffic.
        Standard stuff   The TSA says 2,337,501 people passed through security checkpoints at U.S. airports yesterday. That is 89.3% of 2019 volume, pretty standard for this spring break/holiday season.
        Vienna agrees   More than a month after the rest of Austria dropped Covid restrictions, Vienna is following suit. Effective tomorrow (local time), people will no longer be required to present a valid vaccination or recovery certificate at bars, restaurants, museums, theatres and other public places.
        The masks stay   South Korea is dropping most of its remaining Covid restrictions. Masks must continue to be worn at indoor public places, however. Agence France-Presse has details.
        High cost of fake news   Guatemala has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Latin America as misinformation grows and vaccine doses expire. AlJazeera has details.
        Allora!   As the Easter weekend dawns, only 20% of hotel rooms are occupied in Milan, Italy's fashion, financial and manufacturing headquarters. "Out of 30,000 available hotel rooms, only 6,000 are currently booked," says Maurizio Nano, president of the Italian hoteliers' association.

Coronavirus Update: Thursday, April 14, 2022

Still wondering about the usefulness and accuracy of home Covid tests? The New York Times has another way to judge the value of self-administered antigen tests. Here are today's other developments:
        A matter of perspective   The TSA skipped one day in its reporting of daily airport traffic, so forgive us for doubling up today. About 3.9 million people passed through TSA airport checkpoints in the United States on Tuesday and Wednesday, traditionally the slowest days of the week. That's about 86% of 2019 volume. In 2020, when the pandemic crushed travel around the globe, a total of fewer than 180,000 people traveled on the two days.
        Riding the rails   Amtrak ridership in March rose to 71% of pre-pandemic levels, according to the railroad. Bookings this week are about 80% of 2019 levels, Amtrak says.
        Date certain   Hong Kong officials confirmed today (local time) that they will ease some of the world’s most stringent Coronavirus restrictions. Movie theaters, beauty parlors and gyms can reopen on April 21. On the same day, restaurants will be permitted to open until 10pm and serve larger parties. Bars and beaches will remain closed, however.
        Justice denied   British Justice Minister David Wolfson has resigned after Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak were fined for breaking the Covid restrictions they helped write (see below). Wolfson said he had "no option other than to tender my resignation" due to the actions of the two top government officials. The Guardian has details.

Coronavirus Update: Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Nearly 90% of new Coronavirus cases in the United States now are caused by the Omicron subvariant known as BA.2, according to new CDC data. has details. Here are today's other developments:
        Keep your mask on   In a surprise to many, the CDC extended the travel mask mandate for 15 days. It is now scheduled to expire on May 4. It means travelers must stay masked during flights, in airports, on trains and in rail stations and other public transit venues. The CDC statement is here and the TSA statement is here.
        Penalty is past   Unlike United Airlines, Delta Air Lines did not impose a vaccine mandate on employees. Instead, it levied a $200-a-month health insurance surcharge on employees who chose not to vaccinate. Now the airline says the surcharge, first imposed last November, will end. Delta says 95% of employees are vaccinated, up from 75% when the surcharge was announced.
        Everyone is welcome   Greece says that it will end all Covid-related entry requirements on visitors from all nations beginning May 2. That means no testing, no need to prove vaccination status or to prove you have recovered from Coronavirus.
        Depends on how you look at it   British Airways has cancelled 1,244 flights this year, about 5% of its published schedule, according to the Cirium aviation-data service. Of course, this may not be all bad. BA melting down is something that happened all the time before the pandemic. It might be a sign that things are getting back to normal.

Coronavirus Update: Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Rules for thee and not for me? British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Johnson's wife Carrie have been fined for breaking 2020 Covid lockdown rules. Also at issue? Whether Johnson "misled" (read: lied) to Parliament about the so-called Partygate affair. Politico Europe has details. The Guardian, no friend of Johnson, also weighs in. Here are today's other developments:
        Manic Monday   The TSA says 2,181,446 passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. That is 87.8% of comparative volume in 2019 and right in line with recent days.
        Fourth time the charm?   Italy says it will offer a second Covid booster to citizens over 80 years of age, nursing home residents and people at highest risk for Coronavirus.
        Misery everywhere   Spring flying meltdowns are not uniquely American woes. Bloomberg reports on airline collapses from Australia to Europe as the carriers overscheduled and oversold flights and understaffed operations.
        All aboard again   WMATA, which controls public transit in the District of Columbia, recorded its highest combined bus and rail ridership during the pandemic period on Friday. There were 526,000 rides taken. On Saturday, WMATA recorded the highest 7-day total ridership during the pandemic. Just over 3.1 million rides were taken.
        Everything's coming up flying   Eurocontrol, which operates Europe's air traffic control, say airline traffic jumped 3.5% during the week ended April 10. That means a daily average of 24,190 flights and represents 79.2% of 2019 volume.

Coronavirus Update: Monday, April 11, 2022

Tens of disgruntled anti-vax/anti-mask/anti-sanity demonstrators were out on the streets of Los Angeles over the weekend. No one had any idea of what they were whinging about this time. The Los Angeles Times has details. Here are today's other developments:
        Having a wild weekend   The TSA says more than 6.5 million people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints this weekend (Friday-Sunday). That is 92.4% of comparative volume in 2019 and exactly the same percentage as the first weekend of April.
        Slaughter in blue   JetBlue Airways melted down again this past weekend, cancelling 13% of its flights on Sunday and 18% on Saturday. It once again blamed phantom air traffic control problems. But, sure, they deserve to buy up Spirit Airlines ...
        Return of the masks   Philadelphia officials said today that a mask mandate for indoor public spaces will return on April 18. It's the first major city to resume masking requirements.
        Up and down   There were 251,066 new Coronavirus cases in the United States during the last week, according to Johns Hopkins. That's up sharply from the previous week. The death toll was 3,736, down sharply from the previous week.
        China targets another city   Chinese authorities have all but locked down Guangzhou, the city of 18 million people. Watch this one, folks, since the lockdown in Shanghai has gone badly for both the citizens and the Communist Party apparatchiks who imposed it. The Associated Press has details.
        Off the rails   Passenger traffic on German rails fell in 2021. Most of the decline was early in the year, however, when Germany had strict Covid protocols. International Railway Journal has details.

Coronavirus Update: Weekend, April 9-10, 2022

The FAA says it has issued more than $150,000 in fines on two unruly flyers. More than $80,000 was levied on a passenger on a 2021 American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Charlotte. The FAA claims the passenger tried to open the cabin door and spit at, head-butted, bit and kicked flight attendants and other flyers. A $75,000+-fine involves a passenger on a Delta Air Lines flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta in 2021. The FAA alleges the passenger attempted to hug and kiss the passenger seated next to her; tried to exit during flight; and bit another passenger multiple times. Don't be impressed by the size of the fines. Almost no one pays them because the FAA has little enforcement power. Here are this weekend's other developments.
        Downward-facing airport   San Francisco International has reopened its yoga rooms for the first time since the pandemic began. Airport Experience News has details.
        Relax and have a Guinness   Dublin Airport has been overwhelmed with passengers in the run-up to the Easter holidays. RTE, the Irish national broadcaster, has details.
        Just in time for monsoon season   Thailand says it hopes to eliminate all arrivals testing for Covid by June 1, according to the country's tourism minister. The changes are dependent on no surge in infections in the weeks ahead. The Bangkok Post has details.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for April 2-April 8:

Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 984,000. The national vaccination rate is mired below 67%. White House Covid czar says the test requirement for travelers returning to the United States stays. Another airline meltdown over the weekend did not stop travelers flying at 92% of 2019 levels. British carriers cancel hundreds of flights due to Covid sick-calls. Airlines jockey Australia and New Zealand routes and schedules as the countries reopen to travelers. Ryanair and Turkish Airlines now have more capacity than in 2019, but Lufthansa and SAS remain down more than 30%. And more. Click here for the week's updates.

Daily Coronavirus Updates for March 26-April 1:

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. Click here for the week's updates.

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.