It’s the first July 4 after a year of pandemic-induced shutdowns, and Americans are partying – and traveling – like it’s 1999.
An estimated 3.5 million travelers are expected to shuttle through US airports over the July 4 weekend, according to AAA. That makes it the busiest travel period since the start of the pandemic.
Air screening numbers have surpassed pre-pandemic levels for the first time, according to the Transportation Security Administration. AAA is expecting air travel this weekend to surge to 164% of its level during the same period in 2020.
The perennial regional holiday favorite, Las Vegas, is expecting crowds to rival the pre-shutdown era, as the Strip slowly crawls back to life.
Covid Cases, Rates Jump In Los Angeles Ahead Of 4th Of July Gatherings; Top Health Official Warns, “Another Wave Could Become A Very Real Possibility”
But not all is going smoothly for those travelers.
At least 300 flights at JFK Airport were canceled or delayed over the Fourth of July weekend because of a water leak at the airport’s control tower. A Twitter message from the airport was issued on Saturday evening, as the FAA held departing flights bound for JFK for about an hour.
In Los Angeles, mask requirements for indoor activities have returned. Regardless of vaccination status, authorities are recommending masks be worn for any close quarters activities. The Delta variant of COVID-19, which allegedly originated in India, is being blame for 20% of all new Covid-19 infections in the US, up from 10% a week ago.
Elsewhere in Southern California, sanitation workers began the long-delayed and arduous job of cleaning the homeless encampment that’s overtaken Venice Beach. Workers have bagged garbage and waste, and homeless residents were being offered relocation to area shelters, according to the Los Angeles Times.