WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — With April vacation on its way, more people are expected to get out and travel.
T.F. Green Airport Federal Security Director Daniel Burche said the transportation hub has seen a 667% increase in travelers per day since last April.
In April 2020, there was an average of 209 people coming through the airport each day, according to Burche. Now, one year later, he said the daily total is more than 3,300.
In comparison, February 2020 to February 2021 saw a decline of about 70%, from more than 5,000 travelers to roughly 1,500.
“Coming into the break period, school period, vacation period … one thing I always tell people is to allow plenty of time,” Burche added.
He suggested arriving at the airport 90 minutes to two hours before the departure time.
A new study found leaving the middle seat open on flights could reduce the risk of a passenger contracting a virus by 23%. However, the study did not take into account passengers wearing face masks, since the research was conducted prior to the pandemic.
“From the time you walk through the door, go through security and get to your destination and then leave that facility, you’re required to wear a mask,” Burche said.
A professor of statistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that on a full flight, the risk of getting COVID-19 while wearing a mask is one in 4,300. If the middle seat is vacant, it’s one in 7,700.
All U.S. airlines except for Delta now sell every seat they can on a flight. Delta will also stop blocking middle seats on May 1.
Another study by MIT shows when it comes to the risk of contracting an illness on a flight, a window seat may be the best option since having the wall on one side greatly reduces the number of close contacts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said fully vaccinated people can travel at a low risk to themselves, but the agency still recommends against non-essential travel.