Journey to New York Metropolis Throughout Covid-19: What You Want To Know Earlier than You Go
If you are planning to travel to New York City, here are some things to know and expect if you plan to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
New York City was the US epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in March. The hospitals struggled to cope with the influx of patients. After a lighter summer, the number of infections is rising and new lockdown measures have been put in place.
What’s on offer?
This is the ultimate city break: the largest skyline in the world; Culture from the Guggenheim to MoMA; spectacular food, from Chinese delights in Flushing to Italian delights in the Bronx; and Central Park’s green (or snow-covered) path to the bustling Lower East Side.
Who can go
New York is governed by US government regulations, meaning travel from the European Schengen area, Great Britain, Ireland, China, Iran and Brazil are not permitted. Exceptions apply to U.S. citizens, family members, or permanent residents. Travel from all other countries is allowed.
Following the discovery of the new variant in the UK, every traveler arriving from the UK must present a negative PCR test before boarding the flight.
Starting January 26th, all air travelers entering the United States must present a negative Covid-19 test result.
Out-of-state travelers are allowed to enter New York State, but must have a PCR test within three days of arrival, then self-isolate for three days and do another test. Those who do not take any tests have to be quarantined for 14 days. Individuals from states bordering New York are exempt from the testing regime, but must fill out a form.
What are the limitations?
New York City has strict policies on domestic and international travelers. People from bordering states are not subject to testing or quarantine restrictions. However, travelers from all other states are required to have a PCR test within three days of arrival, and then self-isolate for three days before doing another test.
International travelers to destinations at risk level 2 and above, as defined in the CDC Travel Health Notice, must follow the same rules. Please refer to the Covid-19 Travel Advice website for full instructions.
And from January 26, every air traveler entering the United States will need a negative Covid-19 test result. Passengers must have a virus test carried out within three days prior to their departure for the United States and provide written documentation of their laboratory results or documentation of their recovery from Covid-19.
Anyone staying in New York hotels and short term rentals must complete a Traveler Health Form prior to arrival.
Travelers leaving New York State for less than 24 hours for a non-contiguous state are not required to take a test prior to their return. However, you must fill out a traveler health form and take a test four days after your return.
How is the Covid situation?
The situation in New York City worsened with over 26,000 deaths on January 20th. After months of falling cases, the city has seen rising infection and death rates. Daily cases rose to over 10,000 in December after falling below 500 in August.
What can visitors expect?
New York’s busy streets went quiet at the beginning of the pandemic and have been slow to recover in the months since, although many areas, including Brooklyn, are again busy. While indoor dining was previously allowed at 25% capacity, it was suspended on December 14th in New York City. However, al fresco dining continues, with restaurants and bars building ad hoc structures. Tent canopies and heaters are used over the winter. The bars have to close at 10 p.m.
The museums are open but have started making timed reservations to comply with the lower capacity rules. MoMA, the Natural History Museum, and the Whitney all have a pre-purchased ticket policy. Visitors should expect temperature checks on arrival.
The non-essential retail trade is open. However, masks are mandatory in public and social distancing guidelines must be followed at all times.
New York State Covid-19 microsite
CDC Travel Health
New York State Traveler Health Form
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Read our New York Guide to Eating Safely During the Pandemic, or read more about Bar Dante, named 2nd best in the world this year. Would you like to eat good Indian food? You can find it across the water in New Jersey. Or, enjoy New York cheesecake on our list of the world’s best desserts.