UNDATED (AP) — Air travel continues to recover from the pandemic, although it's still not close to normal. The Transportation Security Administration said that nearly 1.67 million people were screened at U.S. airport checkpoints on Sunday. That's the highest number since March of last year, when the pandemic was beginning to explode across the U.S. But Sunday's airports crowds were still 35% below the corresponding Sunday in 2019, before the pandemic, according to TSA figures. Airlines say bookings started to pick up around mid-February, and they are optimistic about the summer vacation season as more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19.
BRUSSELS (AP) — In an announcement sure to be welcomed by travelers worldwide, the EU’s executive branch has proposed easing restrictions on visiting the 27-nation bloc as vaccination campaigns keep gathering speed. Travel to the EU is currently extremely limited except for a handful of countries with low infection rates. But with the summer season tourism looming, the European Commission hopes that the new recommendations will help dramatically expand that list. EU officials believe the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns will soon be “a game changer,” especially in Europe. Its proposal will be discussed with EU ambassadors this week and EU officials hope it could start by June.
NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of restaurants and bars decimated by COVID-19 have a better chance at survival as the government begins handing out $28.6 billion in grants — money to help these businesses stay afloat while they wait for customers to return. The Small Business Administration is accepting applications for grants from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund as of today. For the program's first three weeks, only applications from restaurants that are majority-owned by women, minorities and veterans will be processed and paid out. The grants, up to $10 million, are aimed at replacing lost revenue at restaurant companies with up to 20 locations.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A majority of Americans agree that government should help people age in their own homes, not institutional settings. And there’s a surprising level of bipartisan agreement on some proposals that could help make that happen. That's according to a new survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Still, Republicans lag Democrats in support of some policies, including the most far-reaching idea. Only 42% of Republicans favor a government long-term care insurance program for all Americans, compared with 78% of Democrats. Overall, 60% of the public supports that approach.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Provincial officials in western Afghanistan say a bomb has exploded near a school wounding 21 people, many them young students. A Farah province health department official says at least 10 of the wounded were students at the school between the ages of 7 and 13. He added that three of the wounded were in critical condition. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, though Taliban insurgents have a presence in the region. The bombing comes three days after a powerful suicide truck bombing struck a guesthouse in eastern Afghanistan killing 21 people and wounding 90 others.