Coronavirus

When will Memorial Day Weekend 2020 be celebrated?

As the states start to reopen after more than nine weeks in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic in the US, many people are wondering what they can do.

When will Memorial Day Weekend 2020 be celebrated?
Seth Wenig AP

Memorial Day is an American holiday that is celebrated on the last Monday of May each year and it honours the men and women who have died while serving in the United States military. This year it falls on Monday 25 May but due to the coronavirus pandemic not everywhere will be open for business as usual.

The United States has been in lockdown since mid-March but as President Donald Trump has been pressuring governors to reopen the economy, many states have started lifting the stay-at-home order. Most states, cities and local municipalities have been preparing for Memorial Day over the past few months.

Most beaches are open

We have seen the month of May begin with many beaches in America opening up to the public, and they will be a popular spot to visit this Memorial Day Weekend. In New York City, however, the situation will be different as it has been the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. Mayor De Blasio said that the beaches will remain closed and if necessary he will put fences up so that people don’t disobey the order.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom decided to reopen the beaches this past weekend but people need to stay six feet apart and they can’t just lie down and relax. The rule in the Golden State is that people can only surf, swim, run or walk when they visit one of the public beaches.

New York CoronavirusPeople sit in socially-distanced circles painted on an open space in Domino Park in Brooklyn, New York, USA, 18 May 2020.

Restaurants and bars will not be open

Since the coronavirus pandemic took hold most of the restaurants and bars decided to, or were ordered to, shut down until further notice. But as states started to reopen so did the service industry although they are only doing delivery or takeout as mandated by the governors. Texas is one of the few states that decided to allow people to dine in restaurants but only at 25% capacity.

Social distancing guidelines are to be followed until there is a cure for the coronavirus that has taken the lives of over 90,000 people in the United States. This year's Memorial Day celebrations will be nothing like we've seen before, with many vacation plans being canceled due to closures. Another reason is that parking lots remain closed in various states so people have to pack lightly and be prepared to walk long distances in order to arrive at their destination.

HEROES Act Senate decision

The other important factor about Memorial Day is that we can expect a decision on the bill that passed through the House of Representatives called the HEROES Act (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act). It has been described, by the president no less, as 'dead on arrival' to the Republican-controlled Senate and we have been told that it will get an airing post the holiday break.

Despite few believing it will be passed, some have asked what veto power Donald Trump holds on the situation.