U.S. Air Travel Is Rising Fast, Despite C.D.C. Warnings

Here’s what you need to know: Salt Lake City International Airport last week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning against nonessential flights as air travel rises.Credit...Rick Bowmer/Associated Press U.S. airports had 1.357 million people pass through on Friday, the highest number on any day since March 2020, just after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. The new figures from the Transportation Security Administration will be welcome news for the aviation industry, which has particularly been decimated during the pandemic but was granted some relief in the stimulus bill that President Biden signed on Thursday. Still, nonessential flights go against the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which warned last week that even fully vaccinated people should avoid travel unless necessary. “We know that after mass travel, after vacations, after holidays, we tend to see a surge in cases,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Monday on MSNBC. “And so, we really want to make sure — again with just 10 percent of people vaccinated — that we are limiting travel.” Plane travel remains relatively low in the United States — Friday’s figures are nearly 38 percent less than what they were on the same day in 2019, according to T.S.A. data — but the latest increase in airline passengers has come as states continue to expand vaccine eligibility criteria and during the peak of spring break season. Photos of spring break partyers without masks in Florida spread on social media this week, prompting concern from some local officials. “Unfortunately, we’re getting too many people looking to get loose,” Mayor Dan Gelber of Miami Beach said. “Letting loose is precisely what we don’t want.” The T.S.A. said it had prepared for a possible increase in spring break travel between late February and April, including through recruitment and vaccination efforts for its own officers. The agency’s employees had previously alleged that the more than 6,000 cases among their ranks were fueled by lax safety measures. — Anushka Patil A drag queen performed in a face shield at a restaurant in Miami Beach last week. Much of life seems normal in Florida, and not just because of the return of the winter tourism season.Credit...Scott McIntyre for The New York Times MIAMI — Other than New York, no big city in the United States has been struggling with more coronavirus cases in recent weeks than Miami. But you would hardly know that if you lived here. Spring breakers flock to the beaches. Cars cram the highways, and thousands of motorcyclists have packed into Daytona Beach for an annual rally. Weekend restaurant reservations have almost become necessary again. Banners on Miami Beach read “Vacation responsibly,” the subtext being, Of course you’re going to vacation. Much of life seems normal, and not just because of the return of Florida’s winter tourism season, which was cut short last year a few weeks into the pandemic. The state reopened months before much of the rest of the nation, and for better or worse, it offers a glimpse of what many states are likely to face as they move into the next phase of the pandemic. Now, much of the state has a boomtown feel, a sense of making up for months of lost time, though its tourism-dependent economy remains hobbled. A $2.7 billion budget deficit will need an injection of federal stimulus money. Orange County, where Orlando is, saw the lowest tourist development tax collections for any January since 2002. “You can live like a human being,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican. “You aren’t locked down. People aren’t miserable.” President Biden’s new hope of getting Americans together to celebrate with their families on the Fourth of July? “We’ve been doing that for over a year in Florida,” the governor boasted. Relatives of Covid-19 patients who died when oxygen supplies ran short at a government hospital in Salt, Jordan, protested outside the complex on Saturday.Credit...Mohammad Ali/EPA, via Shutterstock At least seven people died at a hospital in Jordan on Saturday after it ran out of oxygen, according to Jordanian news reports, prompting an outcry in the kingdom, a visit to the hospital by King Abdullah II and the resignations of the country’s health minister and the hospital’s director. Officials said that all of the victims were being treated for the coronavirus and that they had died after an interruption of oxygen supply that lasted around an hour at a government hospital in Salt, northwest of Amman, the capital. Many countries across the world, including Mexico, Nigeria and Egypt, have faced oxygen supply shortages that have driven up the virus death toll. In Mexico, prices for oxygen have spiked, sales of oxygen tanks have thrived on the black market, and criminal groups have stolen them from hospitals. In Egypt, a New York

U.S. Air Travel Is Rising Fast, Despite C.D.C. Warnings
Here’s what you need to know: Salt Lake City International Airport last week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning against nonessential flights as air travel rises.Credit...Rick Bowmer/Associated Press U.S. airports had 1.357 million people pass through on Friday, the highest number on any day since March 2020, just after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. The new figures from the Transportation Security Administration will be welcome news for the aviation industry, which has particularly been decimated during the pandemic but was granted some relief in the stimulus bill that President Biden signed on Thursday. Still, nonessential flights go against the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which warned last week that even fully vaccinated people should avoid travel unless necessary. “We know that after mass travel, after vacations, after holidays, we tend to see a surge in cases,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Monday on MSNBC. “And so, we really want to make sure — again with just 10 percent of people vaccinated — that we are limiting travel.” Plane travel remains relatively low in the United States — Friday’s figures are nearly 38 percent less than what they were on the same day in 2019, according to T.S.A. data — but the latest increase in airline passengers has come as states continue to expand vaccine eligibility criteria and during the peak of spring break season. Photos of spring break partyers without masks in Florida spread on social media this week, prompting concern from some local officials. “Unfortunately, we’re getting too many people looking to get loose,” Mayor Dan Gelber of Miami Beach said. “Letting loose is precisely what we don’t want.” The T.S.A. said it had prepared for a possible increase in spring break travel between late February and April, including through recruitment and vaccination efforts for its own officers. The agency’s employees had previously alleged that the more than 6,000 cases among their ranks were fueled by lax safety measures. — Anushka Patil A drag queen performed in a face shield at a restaurant in Miami Beach last week. Much of life seems normal in Florida, and not just because of the return of the winter tourism season.Credit...Scott McIntyre for The New York Times MIAMI — Other than New York, no big city in the United States has been struggling with more coronavirus cases in recent weeks than Miami. But you would hardly know that if you lived here. Spring breakers flock to the beaches. Cars cram the highways, and thousands of motorcyclists have packed into Daytona Beach for an annual rally. Weekend restaurant reservations have almost become necessary again. Banners on Miami Beach read “Vacation responsibly,” the subtext being, Of course you’re going to vacation. Much of life seems normal, and not just because of the return of Florida’s winter tourism season, which was cut short last year a few weeks into the pandemic. The state reopened months before much of the rest of the nation, and for better or worse, it offers a glimpse of what many states are likely to face as they move into the next phase of the pandemic. Now, much of the state has a boomtown feel, a sense of making up for months of lost time, though its tourism-dependent economy remains hobbled. A $2.7 billion budget deficit will need an injection of federal stimulus money. Orange County, where Orlando is, saw the lowest tourist development tax collections for any January since 2002. “You can live like a human being,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican. “You aren’t locked down. People aren’t miserable.” President Biden’s new hope of getting Americans together to celebrate with their families on the Fourth of July? “We’ve been doing that for over a year in Florida,” the governor boasted. Relatives of Covid-19 patients who died when oxygen supplies ran short at a government hospital in Salt, Jordan, protested outside the complex on Saturday.Credit...Mohammad Ali/EPA, via Shutterstock At least seven people died at a hospital in Jordan on Saturday after it ran out of oxygen, according to Jordanian news reports, prompting an outcry in the kingdom, a visit to the hospital by King Abdullah II and the resignations of the country’s health minister and the hospital’s director. Officials said that all of the victims were being treated for the coronavirus and that they had died after an interruption of oxygen supply that lasted around an hour at a government hospital in Salt, northwest of Amman, the capital. Many countries across the world, including Mexico, Nigeria and Egypt, have faced oxygen supply shortages that have driven up the virus death toll. In Mexico, prices for oxygen have spiked, sales of oxygen tanks have thrived on the black market, and criminal groups have stolen them from hospitals. In Egypt, a New York Times investigation found that at least three patients had died of oxygen deprivation in a hospital that was running out of it earlier this year. Last month, more than 500,000 people infected with the coronavirus were in need of oxygen every day, according to the World Health Organization, which identified up to 20 low- and middle-income countries that were in urgent need of oxygen supplies, including Malawi, Nigeria and Afghanistan. But there have also been fears that the world’s oxygen supply would be unable to meet the needs of all of those who need it, which include not only Covid-19 patients but also those being treated for many other diseases. In Jordan, Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh said on Saturday that the government bore full responsibility for the deaths at the Salt hospital, and that he had ordered an investigation, according to Al-Mamlaka TV. Dozens of demonstrators gathered in front of the hospital to protest against the shortage of oxygen, including relatives of victims, according to news reports and photographs, and a video circulating online showed the king, in military fatigues, speaking with what appeared to be an official at the hospital as similarly clad members of his entourage held back a surging crowd. Jordan, a country of 10 million people, has reported over 5,200 Covid-19 deaths, according to a count by The Times. On Friday, it received a first shipment of 144,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. The Tesla car manufacturing plant in Fremont, Calif., remained open during the pandemic despite restrictions put in place by local officials.Credit...Jim Wilson/The New York Times More than 400 workers at a Tesla plant in California tested positive for the coronavirus between May and December, according to public health data released by a transparency website. The data provides the first glimpse into virus cases at Tesla, whose chief executive, Elon Musk, had downplayed the severity of the coronavirus crisis and reopened the plant in May, in defiance of guidelines issued by local public health officials. Automakers across the country halted production and closed plants for two months last year from mid-March until mid-May. After resuming production, other automakers publicly announced when workers had tested positive for the virus and halted production to prevent further infection among employees and to disinfect work areas. Tesla, however, has released little information about employee coronavirus cases. The data was obtained by the website PlainSite, which works to make legal and governmental documents publicly accessible. It showed that 440 cases were reported at the Tesla plant, which employs some 10,000 people. The number of cases rose to 125 in December from fewer than 11 in May. A year ago, after officials in California ordered manufacturing plants to close, Mr. Musk suggested on Twitter that the measure was unnecessary and that cases in the United States would be “close to zero.” He also called virus restrictions “fascist,” threatened to move Tesla out of California, and then reopened the plant a week before health officials said it was safe to do so. More recently, Mr. Musk has questioned on Twitter the effectiveness of Covid vaccines. Video transcript Back bars 0:00/1:40 -0:00 transcript Protesters Defy Covid Restrictions to Rally for Slain London Woman Thousands of people gathered at Clapham Common on Saturday, the London park near where Sarah Everard, 33, was last seen alive. Her death led to an outpouring of anger and solidarity over violence against women. “The police have been known to intimidate us.” “The police have been known to intimidate us.” “We say no.” “We say no.” “The police are trying to repress us.” “The police are trying to repress us.” “This is a sickening response.” “This is a sickening response.” [applause] [chanting] “Let us speak.” [chanting] “Let us speak.” [cheering] [chanting] “No justice. No peace.” [cheering] [yelling] [booing] [chanting] “The police do not protect us.” Thousands of people gathered at Clapham Common on Saturday, the London park near where Sarah Everard, 33, was last seen alive. Her death led to an outpouring of anger and solidarity over violence against women.CreditCredit...Leon Neal/Getty ImagesLONDON — Thousands of people gathered in South London on Saturday for a vigil in tribute to Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old woman whose body was found on Friday, despite police warnings that the event would defy coronavirus restrictions. The killing has touched off a national reckoning in Britain over violence against women. As dark fell on London, a growing crowd chanted “Shame on you!” and “How many more!” In what became a rally against gender violence, some clapped their hands and others held tea lights or signs that read “End Violence Against Women.” The event, in Clapham Common, near where Ms. Everard was last seen on March 3, had drawn small groups at first, with people gathering in silence around a memorial where flowers had been laid in her memory. Earlier, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, also laid flowers at the memorial. Adding to the anger over the case, a 48-year-old police officer, Wayne Couzens, has been charged with kidnapping and murdering Ms. Everard. A court had ruled late Friday that the gathering could be deemed unlawful because of Covid-19 restrictions, and the police had urged prospective attendees to stay home. Organizers eventually relented and called for a national doorstep vigil, though in the end that did not dissuade people from going to the park anyway. As Britain is gradually coming out of a monthslong lockdown, the fight over the vigil posed critical questions over balancing freedom of assembly and safety measures in the months to come, and recalled debates over marches against police brutality last year. More than 30 gatherings had been planned across Britain on Saturday, in what organizers hoped would convey the outpouring of solidarity and anger over Ms. Everard’s killing. Children sanitizing their hands before entering school in Johannesburg. Many African nations have yet to start vaccinations, with less than one dose administered across the continent per 100 people.Credit...Agence France-Presse — Getty Images More than 345 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide in the three months since mass inoculation began in December, but there is still a huge disparity in the vaccination rates between countries. At least one dose Fully vaccinated 20%40%60%28%63%Dec. 13Mar. 12Seychelles 4658Israel 9.325Chile 1320Bahrain 1120United States 1017Serbia 7.716Malta 3.913Hungary 3.412Morocco 1.610Finland 4.010.0Denmark 3.69.6Iceland 3.59.5Turkey 3.59.0Lithuania 3.68.6Estonia 4.68.3Norway 3.28.2Ireland 3.48.1Spain 3.78.0Greece 4.37.8Switzerland 3.77.8Slovenia 3.17.7Portugal 3.07.5Austria 4.17.5Poland 3.27.5Italy 3.37.5Sweden 3.37.4Germany 3.87.1Slovakia 2.87.1Czech Republic 2.47.0Netherlands 3.97.0Singapore 3.56.9Romania 3.26.8France 2.56.5Luxembourg 3.26.3Belgium 1.66.0Canada 2.45.9Cyprus 1.54.9Croatia 0.94.0Latvia 1.34.0Brazil 0.84.0Bulgaria 0.93.9Argentina 1.43.8Russia 1.13.8Costa Rica 0.52.7Mexico 0.41.7India 0.41.6Oman 0.51.4Indonesia 0.31.1Peru 0.11.1Bolivia