How the Pandemic , Has Affected Travel.Though travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic are beginning to ease around the world, new protocols will still be significant.Here are five important changes you need to know about.1. The deadline to get a Real ID for domestic U.S. travel has been pushed back from Oct. 1, 2020 to Oct. 1, 2021.2. U.S. passport applications are backed up by months. Renewing or getting a new passport will likely take several extra weeks than normal.3. Application

US gas prices rising as nation heads into holiday weekend

The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline has risen by 6 cents during the last two weeks, to $2.22 per gallon, as the nation heads into the Fourth of July weekend.

That is 51 cents below the average pump price from a year ago. 

»COMPLETE COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that demand for gasoline remains weak even as states reopen for business amid the coronavirus pandemic. She said prices at the pump may slow soon. 

The highest average price in the nation for regular-grade gas is $3.15 per gallon in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

The lowest average is $1.78 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

The average price of diesel is $2.55, the same as two weeks ago.

»MORE: Fourth of July could see travel bump despite restrictions, uncertainty

After months of staying home, many Americans are itching to get away during the Fourth of July holiday, likely bringing a bump up in travel, particularly short trips by car.

But many vacationers also appear to be making last-minute decisions as they navigate travel restrictions, canceled fireworks and uncertainty amid rising coronavirus cases across much of the country.

Hartsfield-Jackson International is forecasting 26,000 to 30,000 travelers passing through Atlanta airport security checkpoints Thursday, up from 15,000 to 16,000 in recent weeks. That would still be less than half the volume before the pandemic.

»RELATED: Ways to keep the fun on Fourth of July

But hotel occupancy and room rates have been relatively high on recent weekends in beach spots including Myrtle Beach, Daytona Beach and the Florida Panhandle, as well as the Smoky Mountains, according to Jan Freitag, senior vice president of lodging insights at hospitality benchmarking firm STR.

According to Expedia.com, some of the most-searched destinations near Atlanta are Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge, Pensacola, Hilton Head and Savannah.

AAA said its U.S. booking trends show people are making travel plans, “though cautiously and more spur of the moment.” Atlanta is the seventh most popular hotel destination since mid-March based on AAA Travel bookings. Las Vegas is in the No. 1 spot, followed by Orlando.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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