Holiday travel is up dramatically this year as the COVID-19 pandemic eases

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FRESNO, California (KGPE) – This weekend is the first big holiday weekend since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted and heavy traffic is expected on both the roads and in the air.

“The airport is seeing a significant number increase in travelers. For example, June was tracking at 120% above 2019 numbers, so that’s back to 100 percent of travelers in addition to 20 percent growth,” said Fresno Yosemite International’s Vikkie Calderon.

Calderon recommends air travelers arrive earlier than usual.

Meanwhile, on the roads, the California Highway Patrol will be out in force as the Maximum Enforcement Period starts Friday evening and will go through Monday afternoon.

“We will be out there; we will be enforcing the vehicle code and the laws, and we want to remind everybody that speed is a crucial issue when it comes to our fatalities,” said CHP Sgt. Brian Pennings. “We had a tremendous amount of people die last 4th of July holiday weekend.”

Last 4th of July weekend, 36 people died in crashes on California roadways. This year, the CHP says they’re prepared for whatever comes their way.

“We’re hoping for voluntary compliance by the public, we can’t do the job without you, but we will be there to conduct enforcement with those who don’t comply with the law,” said Sgt. Pennings.

For those who plan to travel by air, a reminder that any type of firework in your baggage is forbidden.

“Just everyone needs to remember this during the holiday weekend and as always throughout the year, fireworks do not fly. They are not allowed in carry-on baggage or checked baggage,” said Calderon.

The airport is still enforcing COVID health and safety protocols for all travelers, including a mandatory mask requirement.

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