Bidens returning to Kiawah. Air Force One is not expected to affect commercial flights. | Palmetto Politics

Cleared from his COVID isolation, President Joe Biden and the first lady are returning to Kiawah Island this week, according to the White House.

The Bidens have been regular visitors to the resort island.

The president was cleared from isolation Aug. 7 after testing negative for COVID-19 a second consecutive day, ending a mild rebound case attributed to an anti-viral drug used to treat the virus.

The trip to Kiawah is expected to be for vacation only. No public schedule has been released.

It will follow a trip to Kentucky to meet with families and survey damage from the worst flooding in that state’s history. Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrived Aug. 8, joining Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and his wife for a tour. At least 37 people have died since storms dumped up to 10 ½ inches of rain over 48 hours last month, The Associated Press reported.

Air traffic over Kiawah Island will be restricted starting at 1:30 pm Aug. 10 until about 9 pm Aug. 16, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Air Force One will be flying in and out of Charleston International Airport in North Charleston.

But the 10 to 15 minutes the plane will take to land and depart should not affect commercial flights, said airport CEO Elliott Summey.

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Summey said he could not discuss the president’s travel plans, but he said Air Force One will be parked at Charleston Air Force Base. The runways are owned by the Air Force and used by both the military and commercial airlines.

While commercial air travel is not expected to be impacted, traffic on local roadways very likely will be, although no official advisories have been released. A spokesman for the state Highway Patrol said only federal officials can provide that information. It wouldn’t be the first time his caravan has snarled traffic. Biden’s visits to Kiawah as vice president sparked complaints over social media about traffic delays.

Since 2019, Kiawah Island has been home to former GOP Gov. Nikki Haley, the potential 2024 presidential contender.

During the ceremonial swearing-in ceremony for US Sen. Tim Scott in January 2017, then-Vice President Biden praised Haley, telling South Carolina’s junior senator, “I like her a lot.” Biden said he called to congratulate Haley the day President Donald Trump picked her as his United Nations ambassador, a role she resigned from two years later.

Also at that swearing-in ceremony, Biden told Scott, “When I die, I want to be reborn in Charleston.”

Travel + Leisure recently ranked Kiawah the second-best island in the continental United States, after Mackinac Island, Michigan. Hilton Head Island was the other South Carolina location on that top-10 list, at No. 9. For the 10th consecutive year, the magazine ranked Charleston the top travel destination among US cities.

Warren Wise in Charleston contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Check back for details.

Follow Seanna Adcox on Twitter at @seannaadcox_pc.


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