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Officials Report Highest Travel Numbers Since Start Of COVID-19 Pandemic

LINTHICUM, Md. (WJZ) -- Millions of Americans are making their way home after they flew to destinations for Christmas in the midst of a pandemic.

New numbers released Monday by the Transportation Security Administration show 1.2 million people went through security checkpoints on Sunday. These are the highest numbers since the COVID-19 pandemic.


At Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport, 17,388 passengers departed from the airport on Sunday.

Travelers noticed more people on planes and crowded airports.

bwi airport travel covid-19 coronavirus
Travelers move through Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in December 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It was a little bit more hectic," said traveler Donna Lowe. "The planes were a little bit more packed."

"Orlando was packed, so there were a lot more people," said another traveler.

"We've seen people using hand sanitizers everywhere," said Salim. "We've seen people distancing."

One family traveling to Washington D.C. for the first time was trying to take every precaution.

The gloves, wearing the mask of course and sanitize," said Nader Abbas.

Sunday was the sixth day in the past 10 days where the airport checkpoints surpassed one million people nationwide. Earlier this month, the governor issued an emergency order requiring Marylanders to limit all travel to essential purposes only.

"People are so frustrated with just being in for so long that the ones that have family that are really far away, just take advantage of the fact that the tickets are so cheap, said Salim. "I'm from here and I haven't seen my family all year."

Health experts continue to stress how important it is to wear your mask and social distance whenever possible, especially while inside these airports.

Anyone who traveled out of state who returns to Maryland must have a negative test or quarantine for 10 days, per an order from Gov. Larry Hogan.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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