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Nearly 2.5 million people were screened by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents on Sunday, November 28, the most since the pandemic began, according to the agency.

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The TSA tweeted on Monday that travel volume for the 10 days as of November 28 stood at 20.9 million people, about 89% of pre-pandemic levels.

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TSA officials screened 2,451,300 people on Sunday in what appears to be a new pandemic. According to TSA, Wed to Sun, volume for the 5-day holiday weekend was 10.1M.

The high volume of holiday travel is a cause for concern for health experts who are sounding the alarm over the newly discovered coronavirus omicron variant.

Last weekend, President Joe Biden urged Americans to vaccinate and get a booster shot amid concerns about the highly permeable new variant – saying the new strain is “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.”

related: Biden: O’Micron version ’cause for concern’ but not panic, advances COVID-19 shots

Biden, who commented at the White House, stressed the importance of vaccination to protect against all forms of the COVID-19 virus and the urgency to vaccinate the nearly 80 million Americans aged 5 and older who have not received a shot. But Biden said he does not anticipate needing any new virus-related restrictions, beyond last week’s move to restrict travel from South Africa and seven other countries in the region, which went into effect on Monday.

“I hope to be the new normal, everyone eliminates vaccinations and booster shots, so we reduce the number of people who are not protected to such a low degree that we are not seeing the spread of these viruses, That said, noting that the lockdown measures would not be required.

The president also praised South African scientists for acting swiftly to identify the new variant, adding that the world will fight “scientific and knowledgeable actions and speed, not chaos and confusion.”

related: COVID-19 vaccine makers are exploring whether the Omicron versions of the shots are needed

The nation’s top infectious disease expert and Biden’s chief COVID-19 adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier on Monday that there were still no cases of the identified variant in the US, but that it was “inevitable” that it would make its way. country eventually.

On 26 November, the World Health Organization panel named Latest version “Omicron” and classified It is of concern as a highly transmissible virus, the same category that includes the dominant delta variant – a crisis still driving high cases of illness and death in parts of Europe and the Americas.

The real risks of Omicron are not yet fully understood. But early evidence suggests it carries an increased risk of reinfection compared to other highly transmissible variants, the WHO said. This means that people who have contracted and recovered from COVID-19 may be subject to catching it again. It may take weeks to know if existing vaccines are less effective against it.

Medical experts, including the WHO, warned against any redundancies before fully studying the version. But a panic-stricken world feared the worst after the virus broke out due to the pandemic that has killed more than 5 million people worldwide.

That being said, health officials are calling on travelers to be as careful as possible this holiday season.

With the new edition coming out and the pandemic over, is it safe to travel during the pandemic while on vacation?

depends on. It may be safe if you’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but officials say those who haven’t received the shot should delay travel.

Regardless of vaccination status, all travelers should take precautions such as avoiding masked crowds indoors, says Dr. Keith Armitage, an infectious disease specialist at Case Western Reserve University.

“The Delta version has really brought us back to an earlier time in the pandemic,” he said.

related: South Africa edition: WHO calls special meeting new COVID-19 mutation

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said do not travel if you are sick, or if you have tested positive for COVID-19.

The CDC recommends isolating at home for 14 days after your last contact with someone who has COVID-19. Noticeable symptoms include shortness of breath, cough or fever.

Additionally, health experts say your isolation period doesn’t necessarily end after those 14 days—even if you’ve been fully vaccinated. Those who decide to travel should get a COVID-19 test done one to three days before the trip and three to five days after they return.

The agency says all passengers will still have to wear masks on trains, planes and other indoor public transport areas.

Airlines say that plane cabins are less risky because they have good air circulation and filtration. However, there is no requirement for vaccination or testing prior to domestic flights, and passengers can remove their face masks while eating or drinking.

Hotels are not at risk for vaccinations as long as they wear masks around strangers, Armitage says. Family gatherings with non-vaccinated individuals are more frightening, especially for those who are older or have health problems.

Health experts suggest checking case levels and masking regulations in the place you are visiting before you travel.

This story was reported from Los Angeles. Chris Williams, Kelly Hayes and The Associated Press contributed.