Memorial Day weekend is first maskless holiday in over a year for many Americans as mandates lift


Travel is up, Covid-19 cases are down, and vaccines have been put in many arms.

The coronavirus pandemic isn’t over, but Memorial Day weekend is set to look more like it did before the virus upended life more than a year ago.

Americans Saturday were experiencing their first holiday weekend since the CDC changed its masking guidance on May 13 — that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks indoors, and they don’t have to keep their distance from others.

Mask mandates melted away. As of Friday, California, Hawaii, New Mexico were the only states with mask mandates for everyone.

People are increasingly on the move. AAA estimated that more than 37 million people in the US would travel at least 50 miles from home over the Memorial Day weekend — 13% down from 2019, but 60% above last year.

President Joe Biden on Friday praised what vaccination progress has been made, expressing a sense of hope ahead of the unofficial start of summer.

“We’re not just saving lives. We’re getting our lives back, ” Biden said during remarks at Sportrock Climbing Center in Alexandria, Virginia on Friday.