SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Large crowds of locals and visitors took to the streets of downtown Savannah for Memorial Day. It’s a completely different scene compared to last year due to strict COVID-19 restrictions.
“It’s exciting to see people out and about and returning to some normalcy,” visitor Kevin Killion said.
This is the first major holiday weekend since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed restrictions for those who are fully vaccinated.
“Obviously you hope everyone is safe and you would like to assume that everybody that is out and about that is maskless is vaccinated. Obviously, there’s no way to tell,” Killion said.
Since vaccinations began in Georgia, more than 7 million doses have been administered. Thirty-nine percent of Georgians have received at least one dose, and 33 percent are fully vaccinated.
While Savannah’s mask mandate is still in place, no matter your vaccination status, many have decided to ditch the mask.
“I think that each person should have their own right to dictate how they want to deal with COVID. I don’t think the government should tell the people what to do when it comes to how they live their lives,” visitor Colin McGlinn said.
Even with the relaxed guidelines, many people are still choosing to wear a mask.
“We don’t know who is fully vaccinated or not, so I don’t want to make people uncomfortable, so I just wear my mask because we’re still in a pandemic,” visitor Julio Sandoval said.
“I have to admit, I feel a little more comfortable after I got the double vaccine to not wear it outside. But I still feel the same cautious need if I’m going inside of a business,” visitor Julio Picasso said.
All in all, everyone is feeling a sense of freedom this Memorial Day as they call this a step in the right direction.
“America’s a great country and it feels good to get back to being together with everybody,” McGlinn said.
Savannah’s mask mandate will expire at 11:59 p.m. on May 31. There is still no word yet if Mayor Van Johnson plans to extend it.