To paraphrase Elton John, “The beach is back.”
The traditional start of the summer season arrives this Memorial Day weekend, and while the expected weather is partly cloudy and a relatively cool mid-70s, the beaches are mostly open, as are many attractions across the nation.
But there are still some concerns in Southern California that may limit the full reopening of everything until mid-June.
“This disease has not gone away,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday, reflecting the official stance. “It’s not taking Memorial Day weekend off.”
The full, official reopening of Southern California beaches won’t happen until June 15. Even when they do reopen, there are new guidelines on behavior.
Los Angeles, Orange and Santa Clara counties are in the yellow tier, which allows most businesses to operate indoors while observing social distancing and other restrictions.
For private gatherings, the state has lifted most restrictions, although it cautions that outdoor gatherings are preferred.
More than 37 million people are expected to venture 50 or more miles away from home between May 27 and May 31, the AAA automobile owners group said. That’s up 60 percent from the 23 million who traveled last year during some of the worst of the pandemic.
“Americans are demonstrating a strong desire to travel this Memorial Day,” said Paula Twidale, AAA’s senior vice president, in a statement. “This pent-up demand will result in a significant increase in Memorial Day travel, which is a strong indicator for summer.”
The caution in all of that is that the average gas price is now $3.03 per gallon, its highest mark in seven years.