MILWAUKEE — Officials at Mitchell Airport expect March will be the busiest month for the airport since the COVID-19 pandemic began. They say a lot of that travel is due to spring break.
Airports across the country are seeing a similar trend.
On March 20, 2021 more than 1.3 million people passed through TSA. That's more than double the just over 600,000 people that went through TSA on March, 20 2020, right when the pandemic was really starting to hit the U.S.
However, the 2021 travel numbers are still far below what airports saw pre-pandemic. On March 20, 2019 2.5 million people went through TSA checkpoints.
UW Health Chief Quality Officer Jeff Pothof said we are currently in a better place when it comes to travel than we were even just a few months ago when the recommendation for the holidays was to not travel at all. However, he said any travel still needs to be done cautiously.
"We can't go back to the old way of doing our vacations. We have to do them with keeping our risk low to avoid COVID-19 making any kind of comeback this late in the game," Dr. Pothof said.
Jacqueline Kebirungi traveled to Milwaukee from Tampa to visit her brother and her sister-in-law. She said she's feeling better about traveling now as opposed to earlier in the pandemic.
"I'm very confident because I'm a nurse, so I got my vaccine... as long as your safe and got your mask on," Kebirungi said.
Mitchell Airport officials said they're doing their best to keep people socially distanced, masked and keep the airport clean as the number of travelers increases. And, a mask mandate remains in place at airports and on planes even if you are vaccinated.
If you are planning on traveling in the coming days, airport officials recommend arriving early because more people could mean more time spent in line.