May 29 (UPI) -- The Transportation Security Administration screened 1.96 million passengers Friday -- the highest number of passengers the agency has screened in a day since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
TSA spokeswoman Alexa Lopez wrote on Twitter Saturday that the number of passengers screened by the agency is "creeping up to 2 million" as Memorial Day weekend begins.
On the same day last year, the agency screened 327,133 passengers, compared to 2.57 million in 2019, according to numbers posted to the TSA's website.
The number the TSA posted Friday is the highest number of passengers the agency has screened in a single day this year, but the number of air travelers has crept steadily upward as more Americans receive COVID-19 vaccines.
According to the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention, as of Friday 50.3% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a vaccine and 40.5% are fully vaccinated.
Earlier this month AAA forecast 2.5 million Americans would travel by air this weekend, 34.4 million by car and 237,000 by either bus, train or cruise.
That adds up to 37.1 million Memorial Day travelers total -- a 60% increase compared to 2020 but a 13.3% decline compared to Memorial Day weekend in 2019.