SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Many people think of Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start to summer, and with Georgia easing most of its restrictions, we could see a lot of people in the Peach State over the holiday.
But unlike years past, there is no official prediction for this upcoming holiday travel period. Auto club AAA announced it will not be releasing their usual travel forecast for the weekend. For the first time in nearly 20 years, the travel company says they won’t be releasing their travel predictions for this holiday because there are so many factors currently being impacted by the coronavirus.
Last year, AAA predicted around 41 million Americans would do some type of traveling during the long weekend. After the travel period, they announced that the official travel number was around 43 million, which was close. It was the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel volumes.
Those types of numbers are not expected this year. Unemployment numbers are high and although people may be comfortable with traveling an hour or two away, they may not be ready for a long road trip or even a plane ride.
In Georgia, State Patrol troopers want to remind people that they will be out patrolling. They said they noticed a lot of drivers during the stay at home orders who thought they could drive as they wanted, but they warn drivers that’s not the case.
"I'm assuming that the mindset of most of the motoring public was that law enforcement wasn't going to be conducting traffic enforcement and they were going to be able to drive however they wanted to," said SFC Chris Nease, Georgia State Patrol.
GSP says they do have a protocol in place to help keep them safe while conducting traffic stops.
AAA says they will likely release travel predictions later this summer, but that’s only if the country continues to move forward during the pandemic.