DES MOINES, Iowa — As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations decline in Iowa, many people were happy to spend Memorial Day together and maskless.
More than 37 million Americans are expected to travel for Memorial Day weekend, according to a AAA. Des Moines International Airport said it witnessed an uptick in travelers from the previous month.
Jane Payne traveled to Des Moines from Nevada for her granddaughter’s high school graduation.
“The airports were packed. We went through Denver and it was packed,” said Payne. “We had a nice experience. We travel a lot, so we were a little concerned, but it was great.”
Meanwhile, businesses are reaping the benefits of the maskless holiday. Smash Park opened in 2018 in West Des Moines. The co-owner said 2020 was a difficult year, but she is looking forward to ditching masks.
“It does feel a little bit back to normal,” said Kerri Lockyear, the co-owner of Smash Park. “I think as the summer goes on, we will see more and more people come out and enjoy the weather. We’re excited just to see people feel comfortable and feel safe again. That was always our most important measure is come here and feel safe.”
Although coronavirus cases are down, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends unvaccinated people get tested if they plan to travel and visit others.