Memorial Day Weekend sees many travelers make plans for first time in months

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The holiday weekend and lifts in regulations are giving people an excuse to make weekend plans for the first time in months. 

At the Beckley Travel Plaza, travelers from all around West Virginia and surrounding regions stop by to rest before heading off. There are all kinds of travelers heading outside again, ones heading out to have some fun in the warm weather, and others just visiting family.

The issue with travel plazas is that they attract visitors from all over, turning into potential hotspots for disease. However it was just last week that Governor Justice lifted the requirement that out-of-state travelers self-quarantine for two weeks, so now many of them feel comfortable visiting. 

For instance, one traveler from Columbas, OH is excited to visit Southern West Virginia and the surrounding areas now that regulations are loosened.

“I went to the Blue Ridge Parkway, I did some of that. And I’ll be doing some stuff here in West Virginia as well,” he said.

Other travelers are just looking to relax during the holiday weekend. Many essential employees have been burned out over the past few months and are eager for a break. 

“I’ve been working this whole time, I’m an essential employee and so is my husband. So we haven’t been quarantined like everybody else and stuck at home. So we’re just looking for time to relax during all this,” one traveler said.

However there are still many people concerned with the increase in travel, and many continue to criticize the state government for lifting regulations too early. And on the other side, many people think that the state needs to be fully reopened as soon as possible and that the threat of the virus is minimal.

One traveler met in the middle and said that things will probably be okay if people just continue to social distance. 

“Travel’s got released a little bit, it’s a whole lot nicer. We stay away from each other a little bit and still enjoy life,” he said.

Despite the lax in regulations, the number of cases both nationally and state-wide continues to climb steadily every day, and it’s important to remember that there are far more people that have COVID-19 right now than did back in March. But it’s still very possible to head outside, travel and enjoy yourself as long as you stay cautious.