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Travel expected to reach near pre-pandemic levels for Memorial Day weekend

More than 39 million people are predicted to travel this Memorial Day weekend.

CONNECTICUT, USA — The unofficial start of summer is just around the corner. AAA is predicting that more than 39 million people will travel this Memorial Day weekend, which is an increase of about 8% over last year.

The travel company expects 3 million people to travel by air, a 25% increase over last year. In addition, nearly 35 million people are predicted to hit the roads.

RELATED: Southwest loses $278 million but sees profits rest of 2022

AAA said this is expected to be the busiest Memorial Day weekend in two years, bringing travel volumes almost in line with levels before the pandemic.

Product Operations Specialist Lousson Smith with Scott’s Cheap Flights is also anticipating a busy summer for air travel.

"This summer is going to be a record-breaking summer," he told FOX61. "The travel demand has fully rebounded, more people are searching for flights and more people are flying on planes."

The forecasted hustle and bustle comes at a time when COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Connecticut.

“Right now, we are seeing high levels of transmission of COVID,” said Dr. David Banach, an Infectious Disease Doctor with UConn Health. “It’s something I think we should all be mindful of when we’re thinking about plans."

On Twitter, FOX61 conducted a poll, asking: is the pandemic impacting your Memorial Day travel plans? 19% of respondents said yes and 81% said no.

Most airlines have dropped their mask mandates, but some international airlines still require them, so check their travel requirements before heading to the airport.

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Dr. Banach said there are also a few things to consider when determining what’s right for your family.

“Their own health, are they at high risk for developing severe infection if they do develop COVID? Where are they going to be traveling to? Are they visiting someone who is at high risk,” he said. “We’re not going to be in a phase where everyone is going to be universally wearing masks so if individuals want to get that added layer of protection a mask can be really important.”

RELATED: Travelers see higher airfare, mask mandate extended

According to the latest CDC guidance, travelers 2 years or older should wear a mask when traveling on planes, trains, buses and ferries. The agency also recommends masking up inside airports, train stations and bus stations.

"You need to remember that if you do test positive, you need to isolate and you really shouldn’t be getting on a flight,” Dr. Banach said.

Elisha Machado is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at emachado@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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