TSA officials screen highest number of people since start of pandemic

West Bay

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer and for travelers, this weekend also signifies a return to normal.

“Pack your patience” is a phrase used a lot when preparing for holiday weekend travel due to long lines and heavy traffic. As restrictions loosen and more people get vaccinated, many airports were busier than they had been in more than a year.

According to TSA, more than 1.9 million people were screened at airport security nationwide on Friday — the highest daily checkpoint volume since the start of the pandemic.

AAA Northeast Spokesperson Diana Gugliotta tells 12 News that 80% of Southern New Englanders would be taking road trips this holiday weekend.

Travel delays could be felt as early as Thursday and are expected for Monday whether you are driving or flying.

“There’s a rubber band of built-up tension after COVID and everyone is excited to get back out,” Jason Jaacks said. “Hopefully people are vaccinated and want to be getting out doing things they want to be doing.”

Although everyone may not be traveling this weekend, Gugliotta says it looks to be a busy summer.

“For those that aren’t planning to travel over Memorial Day, 82% percent said that they would be planning a trip this summer or early fall, so travel plans are in their near future, for most of us here in this area of the country,” Gugliotta said. “We’re just so excited people will be able to have reunions again. Be reunited with friends and family.”

Even with COVID restrictions being lifted in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, masks are still required by federal law in airports and on any form of public transportation.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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