Travel to New York City during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

If you’re planning to travel to New York City, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As of June 2, New York City remained at “high” Covid alert. The NYC Health Commissioner advises all people in New York City to wear a mask in any public indoor setting, but it is not required.

The federal mask mandate for public transportation was struck down in April by a judge. Masks currently are not required on planes, trains or other forms of public transportation. The Department of Justice filed an appeal to the ruling in April.

Broadway is extending its mask mandate through the end of June, according to the Broadway League. The organization said audience masking protocols for July and beyond will be announced in June.

Since December 6, all inbound international travelers 2 and older are required to test within one day of departure for the United States, regardless of vaccination status. This does not affect US domestic travel.

The city’s Key to NYC requirements lifted on March 7.

Proof of vaccination is no longer required for patrons of the city’s indoor dining, fitness and entertainment venues.

This is the ultimate city break. New York has the greatest city skyline in the world; culture from the Guggenheim to MoMA; spectacular food from Chinese delicacies in Flushing to Italian delights in the Bronx; and the green sweep of Central Park to the busy Lower East Side.

Fully vaccinated travelers from abroad (people who are not US citizens or lawful permanent residents) are allowed entry into the United States, including New York City.

US citizens or lawful permanent residents do not need vaccines to return to the United States.

Unvaccinated travelers from abroad are no longer allowed to enter the United States, with limited exceptions. Among those exceptions are unvaccinated children younger than 18.

New York doesn’t have any restrictions on domestic travelers.

What are the restrictions?

Every air traveler entering the United States needs a negative Covid-19 test result. Passengers are required to get a viral test within one day before their flight to the United States departs and to provide documentation of their lab results or documentation of having recovered from Covid-19.

The state of New York’s travel advisory expired in June 2021, and travelers no longer have to submit traveler health forms. The state still encourages all travelers to follow CDC guidance.

What’s the Covid situation?

As of June 2, more than 40,400 total confirmed and probable deaths and roughly 2.5 million total confirmed or probable cases were registered. There’s been a test positivity rate of almost 11% in the past 28 days.

What can visitors expect?

Restaurants, movie theaters and other venues are open. The Key to NYC policy — allowing indoor access only to vaccinated patrons — expired in March.

• Staten Island Ferry, St. George Terminal on Staten Island (next to the North Shore Esplanade exit)

Does it get any more romantic than meeting at the top of the Empire State Building and fall in love? Read here about love soaring to new heights.

Want to eat great Indian food? You’ll find it across the water in New Jersey. Or salivate over New York cheesecake in our list of the world’s best desserts.

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Forrest Brown, Marnie Hunter, Joe Minihane, Julia Buckley and Kristina Sgueglia have contributed to this report.


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