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SAN DIEGO — The latest COVID-19 case rates in San Diego are nearly 26 times the number of cases reported this same week leading up to Memorial Day last year.

However, with the least pandemic restrictions we’ve seen for a summer holiday in some time, experts are still expecting a very busy holiday for travel.

This is expected to be the fourth busiest Memorial Day weekend for travel on record in Southern California, with more than three million people projected to hit the road Thursday through Monday, according to AAA.

“The overall travel volume is expected to be about 11% higher than what we saw last year and down about 8% from what we saw in 2019 before the pandemic began,” said Doug Shupe, with the Auto Club of Southern California.

America’s Finest City takes the number four spot in the top five destinations for Southern Californians this weekend. The majority of people will travel by car, despite the steep gas prices, AAA says.

“Gas prices in San Diego County are now at $6.02 for a gallon of regular unleaded. That is about $1.86 higher per gallon then last year at this time,” Shupe told FOX 5.

AAA says now more than ever, it’s best to book your travel as far in advance as you can for the best prices. The auto club expects the increased demand for travel to last all summer.