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Memorial Day travel has taken such a big hit due to the coronavirus, American Automobile Association has actually skipped its annual travel forecast for the national holiday – a first for the organization, which has published these reports in the last 20 years.
“Last year, 43 million Americans traveled for Memorial Day Weekend – the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel volumes in 2000,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president at AAA Travel. “With social distancing guidelines still in practice, this holiday weekend’s travel volume is likely to set a record low.”
Going into this year’s Memorial Day weekend, 348,673 people traveled on Friday, May 22 and 253,190 people traveled on Saturday, May 23, according to checkpoint travel from the Transportation Security Administration. On the same dates the year before, 2,792,670 and 2,124,825 million people traveled, respectively.
Although these numbers are far lower than previous Memorial Day weekends, the holiday has still received a slight increase compared to the rest of May and April.
The TSA’s reported 300,000-plus screened travelers is a current pandemic record for the administration, which hasn’t received more than 300,000 travelers since March 25. The administration’s lowest recorded travel day was on April 14, which had fewer than 88,000 people traveling by air.
Despite the modest increase the holiday weekend has observed, the number of people who have been screened by the TSA since the start of April only amounts to a paltry six percent of those screened in 2019.
The air travel nosedive is a result of government agencies and public health organizations urging Americans to avoid non-essential flights due to COVID-19.
In the U.S., more than 1.6 million people have been infected by the novel coronavirus and more than 97,200 people have unfortunately passed away due to complications related to the respiratory illness, according to data from Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard.