In order to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend, Americans are travelling in large numbers. Even though the prices for flights, gas and hotels are at an all time high, people are eager to break free from coronavirus confinement.
Americans hit the road in near-record numbers at the start of the Memorial Day weekend, as their eagerness to break free from coronavirus confinement overcame higher prices for flights, gasoline and hotels.
More than 1.8 million people went through US airports on Thursday, and the number was widely expected to cross the 2 million thresholds over the long holiday weekend — that would be the highest mark since early March 2020.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas warned travelers to expect long lines at airports, and on Friday he pleaded with Americans to show some patience.
The rise in travel appears to be fueled by an increase in people vaccinated against Covid-19 and also by an improving economy. The US Commerce Department said consumer spending increased in April, although not as much as in March, providing more evidence that consumers are driving a recovery from last year’s pandemic recession.
The arrival of Memorial Day coincides with some states eliminating their remaining pandemic restrictions amid improving case, hospitalization and death numbers. The mask mandate in Massachusetts goes away Saturday, and Virginia is easing all distancing and capacity restrictions Friday.