Travel doubled compared to last Memorial Day

Published: May. 27, 2021 at 11:48 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - With Memorial Day right around the corner, many people may be planning to get out of town for the long holiday weekend.  So, what does that mean for travel conditions?

Triple A spokeswoman Montrae Waiters tells News Leader 9 that 62% more people will be on the roads heading out of town compared to last year.

The unofficial start to summer for many people, Memorial Day, brings a return to travel.

“I really do think that quite a few more people will be traveling this weekend because people have been vaccinated,” said Jackie Seldon, Columbus resident.

Seldon is heading out of town to visit her 96-year-old dad for the holiday weekend and she is not wrong about her prediction.

”In Georgia, more than one million residents are forecasted to take a trip this weekend,” said Waiters. According to Waiters, that’s more than double the amount of Peach State residents who traveled last year.

”I put that shot in my arm for a reason, so I could get back to normal,” said Deborah Cooley.

Last Memorial Day, COVID cases were trending downwards until the weeks following when cases surged out of control. Health officials say that likely won’t happen this year with the COVID vaccines rollout.

“A lot of people have gotten vaccinated and also people have already had COVID and recovered so they also have natural antibodies,” said Pamela Kirkland, Columbus Health Department.

Statewide in Georgia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports roughly half of the state is vaccinated, below the national average.

But that’s not stopping people from fueling up and heading to the beach.

“I think there will be a good number of people out there,” added Nikko Black.

With Triple A predicting 9 out of 10 people will travel by vehicle and the lingering supply chain issues caused by the Colonial Pipeline outage, Waiters says pack your patience and extra gas money.

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