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COVID restrictions easing across the country as Americans celebrate Memorial Day weekend

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Memorial Day weekend looks much different than it did a year ago, as COVID restrictions are being relaxed throughout the U.S. and travel is surging. Half of all American adults are now vaccinated against COVID-19. Lilia Luciano reports.

Video Transcript

- Americans are heading into another pandemic summer but this time with optimism. And Memorial Day weekend is proof of that. CBS Lilia Luciano is in Hollywood, California. Lilia, good evening to you.

- Good evening, Jericka. It's a very busy Hollywood Boulevard tonight. Here in California, masks are still mandated. But elsewhere in America, It's a holiday weekend with way fewer restrictions.

America's pastimes are making a big comeback this Memorial Day weekend.

- Start your engines.

- In Indianapolis, 135,000 racing fans revved up at the Indy 500, the largest crowd at a sporting event since the start of the pandemic. In Washington D.C., thousands of bikers rolled through the nation's capital raising awareness for missing service members.

And Boston Fenway Park is packed again. Even CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky was there throwing out the first pitch. While travel soars to pandemic peaks, it's all possible because half of American adults are fully vaccinated in less than six months.

But COVID still kills. The US death toll pushing past 594,000. And tonight, new concern about a variant detected in Vietnam. This as the Biden administration urges China to cooperate with an investigation on the virus source.

- They could provide the blood samples from those who worked in the lab in Wuhan. They've refused to do that.

- There is joy in our new normal.

- Well relief and celebration to be able to be outside again and feel safe.

- Here in Hollywood yet another reason to celebrate. With 75% of movie theaters now open nationwide, Memorial Day weekend could break the $100 million mark at the box office. During the last year, that wasn't even one million.

- Lilia, thank you.