Coronavirus Special Report
May 14 to May 20, 2022
Read all about Covid! Traffic at Cathay Pacific continues to be down almost 99% since the beginning of the pandemic. U.S. regular gasoline prices continue to shatter records. Not a single automobile was sold in locked-down Shanghai in April. Spain says unvaxxed travelers won't be able to enter the country for another month. Travel's contribution to the national GDP falls by a half-point compared to pre-pandemic days. Britain bars Russian airlines from selling their UK airport landing slots. Weekend traffic on Vancouver's public transportation is returning to pre-pandemic levels faster than on weekdays. A Japanese man accidentally received an entire community's Covid relief funds--and he gambled them all away. And much more.
Coronavirus Update: Friday, May 20, 2022
Only 67% of the nation is vaccinated--and a much smaller percent of those people have received even one booster. But the CDC has now approved booster shots of a Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5-to-11. The Wall Street Journal
. Here are today's other developments:
The TSA says 2,348,193 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. That's 87.8% of the comparative volume on a similar day in 2019. And it's all a runway for the weekend and the Memorial Day Weekend, which is expected to be chaotic.
Thailand opens some more
Thailand has begun to open bars, nightclubs and its ever-popular karaoke venues as it continues to woo tourists back to the nation. Bloomberg News has details
Average daily occupancy at U.S. hotels was 66.5% for the week ended May 14. That's off about five points from a comparative week in 2019. But we're paying more for the privilege. Average daily rates are up more than 10% from the same week in 2019.
Of course ...
The average price of regular gasoline in the United States is $4.593 today. That's up around half a cent from yesterday and another all-time record high, according to the AAA. Things aren't much fun in the Great White North, either. Today's price of regular in Toronto, for example, is C202.8 a liter, according to the CAA.
Coronavirus Update: Thursday, May 19, 2022
This isn't over, folks. The newest Covid wave--albeit much less deadly than earlier variations--continues to spread quickly. Except for Maine, which registered a small decline, case counts have grown alarmingly everywhere else in the nation during the last two weeks. Axios has details
. Here are today's other developments:
The TSA says 2,097,515 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. That's 84.8% of the comparative volume on a similar day in 2019, a slightly lower percentage than in recent days.
Britain's transportation minister, Grant Shapps, says the country has cut off another Russian avenue to Western cash. It has barred three Russian carriers--Aeroflot, Rossiya Airlines and Ural Airlines--from selling takeoff and landing slots at UK airports. Especially at London/Heathrow, slots can be worth tens of millions of dollars. The Associated Press has details
Vancouver's public-transportation authority says passenger volume over the last three weekends reached 75% of pre-pandemic norms. That is higher than weekday levels. On a weekly basis, systemwide passenger volume is back to around 70%. Urbanized.com has details
With Coronavirus levels rising again (see above), the U.S. government is making another tranche of free, at-home tests available to all comers. As many as eight additional tests per residential address can be ordered from Covid.gov
Covid fraud, mundane and unique
With about $5 trillion in emergency Coronavirus aid passed by the federal government, fraud was inevitable. At least $160 billion of unemployment-related fraud has been uncovered with very little of it reclaimed by the government. The Washington Post
and tales of the victims. Meanwhile, in Japan, one man was inadvertently given all $360,000 in relief meant for an entire rural community. He promised to give it back. Instead, he blew it all at online casinos. The New York Times
has those details
Coronavirus Update: Wednesday, May 18, 2022
The average price of regular gasoline now has passed $4 per gallon in every state in the nation. The last holdouts--Georgia, Kansas and Oklahoma--crossed the unhappy threshold this week. The average price of gasoline in California now has passed $6 a gallon. Five other states registered average prices above $5 a gallon. The Washington Post
Here are today's other developments:
The TSA says that 2,036,479 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. That's about 88% of the comparative volume on a similar day in 2019. According to the TSA, it's the first Tuesday with more than 2 million travelers since the Tuesday of Thanksgiving Week, 2021.
Messy, busy Schiphol
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has been a mess, with strikes, hours-long lines and even flight diversions to other facilities. Here's part of the reason: Eurocontrol says Schiphol is up to 1,300 daily flights, about 88% of 2019 volume. That makes it the busiest airport in Europe.
What did you think?
The average price of regular gasoline in the United States today is $4.56, four cents higher than yesterday and another all-time high.
Half a point
Travel and related transportation services contributed 5.4% of the nation's GDP in 2021. That's down a half-point from 2019's contribution of 5.9%. Numbers were compiled by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, a division of the Transportation Department.
Use 'em or use 'em
The White House Coronavirus Task Force said today that Covid infections are rising rapidly again. If that leads you to dust off one of those fast home tests sent by the government and find it is expired ... go ahead and use it. They seem to be accurate well past the expiration date. The News & Observer
of Raleigh has details
Coronavirus Update: Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Eric Clapton is a great guitarist, but do avoid anything he does or says about health topics. You'll recall that The Beatles wrote Savoy Truffle about Clapton's voracious appetite for chocolates--and how his teeth were so bad that "you'll have to have them all pulled out." Fast forward to the pandemic and Clapton became a leading face and voice of the anti-vax movement. He even cancelled shows if a venue required customers prove their vaccination status. Guess what? Clapton has contracted Covid and had to cancel shows to avoid infecting audiences. Here are today's other developments:
Less manic Monday The TSA says 2,278,197 people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints yesterday. That's about 87.1% of the comparative volume on a similar day in 2019 and a tick or so below last Monday.
Just wow ... Cathay Pacific Airways is the flag carrier of Hong Kong, which retains some of the most restrictive entry requirements in the world. Which goes part way to explain how Cathay, one of the world's finest carriers, served only 40,823 passengers in April. That is a startling 98.7% below April, 2019.
Yup, another record The average price of regular gasoline in the United States today is $4.52, four cents higher than yesterday and another all-time high. It's also about 15 cents higher than last week and around 45 cents higher than a month ago.
Get used to it It looks like you can contract Covid over and over again. The New York Times has the grim details.
Cancelled again At the beginning of the pandemic, Qantas of Australia warned that it would not resume international flying for months. Then it was a year. As Australia continued its lockdown, it became years. But Qantas is flying internationally again--except not to San Francisco. The most recent promise on Sydney-San Francisco nonstops was July. However, Qantas has pushed the launched back again to October 30. Honest, I've lost track of how many delays that is.
Coronavirus Update: Monday, May 16, 2022
Want a statistical sense of how complete the controversial Shanghai lockdown has been? Not a single automobile was sold in the city of 25 million in April. The news was released by the Shanghai Automobile Sales Association. Bloomberg News has details. Here are today's other developments:
Sunday scurry The TSA says about 6.7 million people passed through U.S. airport checkpoints this weekend (Friday-Sunday). It's 91.2% of comparative volume of a similar weekend in 2019, about on par with recent weekends. However, the 2,395,894 people at the airport on Sunday (May 15) was the largest one-day volume since November 28, 2021, the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Slow down Eurocontrol says the flights in Europe's skies reached an average of 86.1% of 2019 volume during the week ended May 15. After strong growth the previous week, last week was just 1.1% better. That's an average of just 309 additional flights each day.
Spain says stay away Americans and other non-EU travelers who have not been vaccinated still cannot enter Spain and the stricture will remain in place for at least another month. Even unvaxxed people who can produce a negative test are unwelcome.
The Fauci factor Dr. Anthony Fauci says he won't serve as the nation's top medical advisor if Donald Trump is reelected in 2024. "If you look at the history of the response during [his term], I think, you know, at best, you can say it wasn't optimal," Fauci explained. TheHill.com has details.
Coronavirus Update: Weekend, May 14-15, 2022
Notice how badly the dictators and authoritarians handled the Covid crisis in their countries? The latest failure? Kim Jong Un of North Korea. The virus is ravishing the hermit kingdom, the government has no vaccines or help to offer--and Kim says he's not to blame. Who is? "Irresponsible" officials. Umm, okay ... Details are hilarious--and sad. Here are this weekend's other developments.
Not so common market Six member countries of Europe's Schengen Area have decided to keep transborder controls in force for at least another six months. SchengenVisaInfo.com has details.
Go somewhere else China has bowed out as the host of the 2023 Asian Cup, the continent's soccer championships. The 24-team competition was scheduled to be held in ten cities in June and July. China has blamed its late-stage Coronavirus outbreak. Agence France-Presse has details.
Down again Nationwide hotel occupancy in the United States was 63.9% for the week ended May 7, according to lodging statisticians STR. That's a dip--6.1 points--from a similar week in 2019. San Diego was the strongest major market last week. Philadelphia and San Francisco had steep declines.
Daily Coronavirus Updates for May 7-May 13
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass the one-million mark and Europe's toll passes two million. The European Union lifts its airport and in-flight mask mandate next week, but Spain and Italy will maintain their restrictions. United Airlines predicts "unprecedented" leisure travel demand for Memorial Day and Fourth of July. New Zealand says it will open to flights and cruises on July 31. The busiest day of the year for global airline capacity? OAG says it will be August 12 with 16 million seats available. France drops mask mandate on all forms of transportation. Europe is at 85% of 2019 flights--but Germany is doing much worse as Istanbul passes 2019 levels. SAS cuts summer schedules by 5%. Revival of U.S. rail services continues to lag. And more. Click here for the week's updates.
Daily Coronavirus Updates for April 30-May 6
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 996,000 while the national vaccination rate is stubbornly stalled below 67%. U.S. airline traffic is falling from the post-pandemic boom of mid-April. Italy has dropped some Covid-era paperwork for visitors. Greece has dropped all Coronavirus-related entry rules. Nationwide average gasoline prices rose 12 cents this week. Things are not going well at all in Shanghai, locked down since March 29. Europe nears 85% of pre-pandemic aircraft volume. Hilton and Marriott say hotel demand, even business travel, is getting back to something like normal. British Airways is cutting flights again. And more. Click here for the week's updates.
Daily Coronavirus Updates for April 23-April 29
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 993,000, but the national vaccination rate is stalled below 67%. Etihad Airways says 90% of business class passengers are now leisure flyers. BART in San Francisco reinstates a mask mandate. Europe flying passes 80% of 2019 levels. Israel drops indoor mask mandate and South Korea drops outdoor one. Covid was the third-leading cause of death in the United States last year. Asian airlines carried just 11% of 2019's international traffic in March. Italy and Germany extend some Covid regulations, but Malaysia is loosening up and Bulgaria and Lithuania end all Covid entry requirements. And more. Click here for the week's updates.
Daily Coronavirus Updates for April 16-April 22
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 990,000. National vaccination rate inches toward 67%. Florida judge's ruling against CDC travel mask mandate led U.S. airlines and Amtrak to drop mask rules, but some airports and local transit systems keep theirs. The Justice Department will appeal, but the CDC won't demand emergency legal action to reinstate mask rules. Canada says it won't drop its mask mandate. Air Canada tops 100,000 passengers in one day for the first time in more than two years. Uber and Lyft dump their mask mandate. Spain ends indoor masking policy after more than 700 days. Even as travel booms again, Italy and the Netherlands expect sharp declines in volume compared to 2019. And more. Click here for the week's updates.
Daily Coronavirus Updates for April 9-April 15
Read all about Covid! U.S. Coronavirus deaths pass 988,000. The national vaccination rate still below 67%. The CDC that 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. Click here for the week's updates.
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.