US air travel hits pandemic high as spring breakers hit the beach

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The US last weekend saw the highest amount of air travelers since the pandemic began — as throngs of spring breakers flew to sunny beaches for the annual party.

On both Friday and Sunday, more than 1.3 million people were screened at airports by the Transportation Security Administration — the most since the coronavirus put a dent in travel a year ago.

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The increase in fliers coincides with revelers heading south for spring break.

Over the weekend, Miami Beach was teeming with partiers, who at times became unruly and clashed with police.

From Friday through Sunday, about 150 people were reportedly arrested across the waterfront hotspot.

On Monday, the crowds remained in Miami Beach, soaking up the sun along the shore and strolling along the busy streets.

Spring Break crowds gather on Fort Lauderdale Beach in Miami, Florida on March 14, 2021 (Credit: Larry Marano/InStar/Cover Images)

Despite the boost in air travel last weekend, industry numbers are still far below historic levels, with 50 percent less passenger traffic this month compared to March 2019.

Travel has increased as coronavirus cases and deaths in the US have been on the decline. 
The number of new COVID-19 cases dropped for nine straight weeks, falling 10% to just under 378,000 in the seven days ending Sunday.

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Deaths linked to the virus dropped below 10,000 last week, the lowest since mid-November.
But in a Monday press briefing, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urged Americans not to let their guard down. 
“These should be warning signs for all of us. Cases climbed last spring, they climbed again in the summer, they will climb now if we stop taking precautions,” said Walensky.

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