Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) in Highfill is restricting entry into the terminal to only those who are traveling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The safety of our passengers and employees is our top priority, and we will continue to take necessary precautions to protect all who visit XNA,” according to XNA’s social media sites. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”
The restriction went into effect at 2 p.m. Friday (March 20).
Passenger traffic inside the terminal was down nearly 70% earlier this week, and some planes were leaving the airport with only a handful of passengers or empty in the wake of the pandemic.
In February, enplanements, or passengers flying from XNA, increased 14.9% to 67,144, from 58,400 in the same month in 2019. In the first two months of 2020, enplanements rose 16.9% to 134,450, from the same period in 2019.
COVID-19 cases in Arkansas rose from 62 on Thursday to 96 on Friday, with 203 persons under investigation and 548 people being monitored because of a possible risk. As of Friday afternoon, there were more than 16,000 U.S. cases and around 210 deaths. Globally, there were more than 263,000 cases and more than 11,100 deaths.