Memorial Day offers the opportunity for Americans to honor veterans and service members alike. And the extended weekend historically has been a time for road trips and other travel. This year, however, many more of us are bound to stay closer to home as the nation continues to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Before you gas up the car, confirm your state’s and city’s restrictions on travel so you can do your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Is Memorial Day travel allowed during the coronavirus pandemic?
It depends on where you live — each state and some cities are setting guidelines for nonessential travel.
For example, Florida is largely open to tourists, though the state governor is requiring visitors from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or Louisiana to self-quarantine for 14 days after entering the state. Other states, such as Nebraska, do not have stay-at-home orders in place. Metropolises like Chicago and New York City are continuing to maintain strict stay-at-home orders.
As far as federal guidance, the CDC recommends that Americans “stay at home as much as possible, especially if your trip is nonessential.” If you do decide to venture outside, the CDC advises practicing social distancing, washing your hands frequently and wearing cloth face masks. Individuals that have been exposed to COVID-19 should not travel, as per CDC guidelines.
If you must travel, the CDC recommends packing essentials like hand sanitizer and food and water for the road. See our tips for packing your own travel kit.
What’s open on Memorial Day?
What’s open varies from state to state. For example, while some beaches in Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey are open, beaches in Massachusetts remain closed. States that have opened destinations like beaches may do so at reduced capacity, and social distancing measures still apply. Check your destination’s guidelines to understand exactly what to expect. Essential businesses like grocery stores remain open across the country, so you can purchase food to prepare on your own if you don’t feel comfortable eating out.
Restaurants in many states are still offering takeout or delivery only. But some establishments in a handful of states — including Texas, Florida and Georgia — have reopened their dining rooms. Many have restrictions in place to separate diners and may have other measures like hand-washing stations.
Remember that though some states have reopened, the CDC advises people stay home as much as possible and avoid nonessential travel.
Are hotels open on Memorial Day?
Yes — in most states, hotels are generally considered to be essential businesses. However, many upscale and boutique hotels remain closed, so be sure to confirm with the hotel directly before booking through a third-party site. For example, the Plaza Hotel in NYC is closed, while the nearby TownePlace Suites by Marriott is open.
Memorial Day travel deals
After determining whether or not a Memorial Day getaway is in the cards for you and yours, browse retail sales to score deals on appliances, mattresses, spring clothes and more.