Photos: America steps out for a cautious Memorial Day weekend

Millions of Americans are getting ready to emerge from coronavirus lockdowns and venture outdoors to celebrate Memorial Day weekend at beaches, cookouts and family outings, raising concern among public health officials that large gatherings could cause outbreaks to come roaring back. Many states have begun to lift restrictions at the urging of President Donald Trump while travel and tourism businesses are hoping to see signs of life after nearly two months of near-zero demand.

UPDATED ON MAY 23, 2020 04:23 PM IST 8 Photos
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People gathered inside circles painted on the grass encouraging social distancing at Dolores Park in San Francisco, California on May 22. Americans are fleeing weeks of home isolation for beaches, parks and other leisure destinations over the Memorial Day weekend -- and that has pandemic experts and businesses concerned about a spike in coronavirus cases. (Josh Edelson / AFP)

People gathered inside circles painted on the grass encouraging social distancing at Dolores Park in San Francisco, California on May 22. Americans are fleeing weeks of home isolation for beaches, parks and other leisure destinations over the Memorial Day weekend -- and that has pandemic experts and businesses concerned about a spike in coronavirus cases. (Josh Edelson / AFP)

UPDATED ON MAY 23, 2020 04:23 PM IST
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Cub Scout Colten Short, 10, of Arlington, salutes a grave after fixing a flag in front of a headstone ahead of the Memorial Day weekend at West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee. Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May to honour and mourn the military personnel who died while serving in the US armed forces. (Max Gersh/The Commercial Appeal/USA TODAY/REUTERS)

Cub Scout Colten Short, 10, of Arlington, salutes a grave after fixing a flag in front of a headstone ahead of the Memorial Day weekend at West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee. Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May to honour and mourn the military personnel who died while serving in the US armed forces. (Max Gersh/The Commercial Appeal/USA TODAY/REUTERS)

UPDATED ON MAY 23, 2020 04:23 PM IST
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People lay on the grass at Dolores Park in San Francisco. The holiday arrives amid the bleakest economy in decades. Tens of millions have been laid off since the virus hit hard in March and forced shutdowns. Unemployment has reached its highest level since the Great Depression. (David Paul Morris / Bloomberg)

People lay on the grass at Dolores Park in San Francisco. The holiday arrives amid the bleakest economy in decades. Tens of millions have been laid off since the virus hit hard in March and forced shutdowns. Unemployment has reached its highest level since the Great Depression. (David Paul Morris / Bloomberg)

UPDATED ON MAY 23, 2020 04:23 PM IST
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Beach goers seen at Asbury Park, New Jersey. Jersey Shore beaches will be open but there will be no fireworks, Ferris wheel rides, roller coasters, go-karts or arcade games. (Christopher Occhicone / Bloomberg)

Beach goers seen at Asbury Park, New Jersey. Jersey Shore beaches will be open but there will be no fireworks, Ferris wheel rides, roller coasters, go-karts or arcade games. (Christopher Occhicone / Bloomberg)

UPDATED ON MAY 23, 2020 04:23 PM IST
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Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk past Nathan’s Famous Inc. restaurant on the Coney Island boardwalk in New York. Without clear federal guidance, state and local officials have been left to figure out how to celebrate the holiday safely. (Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg)

Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk past Nathan’s Famous Inc. restaurant on the Coney Island boardwalk in New York. Without clear federal guidance, state and local officials have been left to figure out how to celebrate the holiday safely. (Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg)

UPDATED ON MAY 23, 2020 04:23 PM IST
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A man sells Sno Cones on the beach in Galveston, Texas. Many Memorial Day commemorations have been cancelled or downsized, including concerts and fireworks shows. (Callaghan O'Hare / REUTERS)

A man sells Sno Cones on the beach in Galveston, Texas. Many Memorial Day commemorations have been cancelled or downsized, including concerts and fireworks shows. (Callaghan O'Hare / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON MAY 23, 2020 04:23 PM IST
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People wearing face masks at he Griffith Observatory with a view of the Hollywood sign at the start of Memorial Day holiday weekend. Social distancing and bans on mass gatherings remain in place throughout much of the country. People are advised to stay away from places with large crowds. (Apu Gomes / AFP)

People wearing face masks at he Griffith Observatory with a view of the Hollywood sign at the start of Memorial Day holiday weekend. Social distancing and bans on mass gatherings remain in place throughout much of the country. People are advised to stay away from places with large crowds. (Apu Gomes / AFP)

UPDATED ON MAY 23, 2020 04:23 PM IST
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Seagulls land on a nearly empty Coney Island beach. For the hard-hit tourism and hospitality industry, hope rests in Memorial Day as an indicator of something resembling recovery. (Jeenah Moon / Bloomberg)

Seagulls land on a nearly empty Coney Island beach. For the hard-hit tourism and hospitality industry, hope rests in Memorial Day as an indicator of something resembling recovery. (Jeenah Moon / Bloomberg)

UPDATED ON MAY 23, 2020 04:23 PM IST
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