What you need to know before you go

CNN Staff

    (CNN) — 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.

The latest news

New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently announced that he is lifting the proof of vaccine requirement for indoor dining, theaters and entertainment venues in the city starting March 7.

“Beginning Monday, March 7, we will be suspending the requirements under Key to NYC and so folks can come in and enjoy the restaurants, enjoy the businesses and be a part of this great city without having to show proof of vaccination,” Adams said at a press conference in Times Square on March 4.

The basics

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.

It’s part of a general tightening of US travel rules because of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

While the state of New York recently lifted a mask-or-vaccination mandate, New York City’s “Key to NYC” vaccination requirement is in place through March 7.It requires proof of vaccination for patrons and employees of the city’s indoor dining, fitness and entertainment venues.

Some of the venues of interest to travelers that are part of the requirement include restaurants, nightclubs, concert halls, museums, performing arts and movie theaters, cabarets, fitness centers, pools and coffee shops with indoor dining.

What’s on offer

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.

Who can go

Fully vaccinated travelers are now allowed entry into the United States, including New York City.

Unvaccinated travelers from abroad are no longer allowed to enter the United States, with very 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 March 4, nearly 40,000 total confirmed and probable deaths and roughly 2.28 million total confirmed or probable cases were registered. There’s been a test positivity rate of about 3.17% 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 — expires on March 7.

On Broadway, guests 5 and older must be fully vaccinated to attend a show, according to the policy posted on the Broadway League’s website. The posting, as of March 4, said the requirement is in effect through at least April 30. Masks are also required except when eating and drinking.

Among the many locations you can get rapid Covid-19 testing are these spots frequented by tourists:

LaGuardia Airport, in the Terminal B parking lot

John F. Kennedy International Airport, in the departures level of Terminal 1, Row H Area; Terminal 4, arrivals level, first floor; and at the Terminal 5 AirTrain stop

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

• Times Square (701 Seventh Avenue between West 47th and West 48th streets)

Useful links

New York State Covid-19 microsite


CDC Travel Health

Our recent coverage

There are two new attractions added to the NYC roster. Read about Little Island, which sits in the Hudson River, and a spectacular observatory at One Vanderbilt tower.

Check out our New Yorker’s guide to eating out safely during the pandemic, or read about the bar Dante, which was named the second best in the world this year.

Consider a post-pandemic stay at the first hotel on Roosevelt Island, a sliver of an island in the East River with a notorious past.

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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