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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Labor Day weekend is here! This weekend is traditionally filled with families and friends getting together for a trip, a cookout or even a last-minute trip to the beach. However, this year’s holiday will look different.

Health officials are worried about the impact social gatherings may have on COVID-19 cases. They are urging the public to take steps to avoid another spike in COVID-19 cases.

TSA TRAVEL TIPS

TSA Administrator David Pekoske expects Friday to be this holiday weekend’s top travel day at the nation’s airports. In anticipation for the influx of travelers, here are a couple of tips from TSA:

Tip 1: Pack smart — Make sure you know what prohibited items are so you avoid triggering an alarm and have to return to screening.

Tip 2: Help Minimize Wait Times — Wait times at the airport have been reduced. You can now arrive 1-2 hours before your flight since the screening process will be shorter.

Tip 3: Maintain social distancing — Pay attention to floor decals and signs promoting social distancing!

Tip 4: Wear a mask — Travelers should also wear a mask while in the checkpoint area but may be asked to temporarily remove their mask for a few seconds to verify their identity, TSA said.

Tip 5: Wash your hands — TSA said travelers are encouraged to wash their hands before and after going through checkpoints.

LABOR DAY TRAFFIC

With Labor Day approaching, many drivers will be out on the roads trying to get to their destinations. Good news is according to GasBuddy, Labor Day gas prices are the lowest since 2004.

According to AAA, 97% of all trips this summer were taken by car. AAA says other modes of transportation – cruises, buses and rail – have seen the most dramatic drop in travel volume.

The Virginia Department of Transportation says they will be suspending most highway work zones and lifting most lane closures on interstates and other major roads in Virginia from noon Friday, Aug. 30,until noon Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Based on traffic data, VDOT predicts periods of moderate to heavy congestion will most likely occur between noon and 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30 and Monday, Sept. 2. 

THINGS TO DO

Grab a bite to eat: Do you have a favorite local restaurant? Are you looking to try something new? Use your long weekend to treat yourself to a delicious meal or two or three out on the town!

Head to the river: Whether you’re getting in to swim, looking to paddle or just relaxing on the shore the James River Parks System has plenty to offer for people looking to cool off this weekend. The river levels can become dangerous with too much rain so check the gauge before planning your day.

Visit a Virginia State Park: Pocahontas State Park and Powhatan State Park provide an opportunity to get into nature without venturing too far from home. If you’re looking for a change of scenery beach lovers can try False Cape and First Landing state parks and mountain lovers could travel to Breaks Park or Natural Bridge State Park.

Get to pedaling: Grab your bike and go for a ride. For the long distance biker the Capitol Trail is a great way to spend the day and mountain bikers can check out the North Bank Trail in Richmond.

Cookout with your friends: Call your friends, throw some beef, turkey or veggie burgers on the grill and grab a beer this labor day weekend.

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