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.

The basics

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 regulated by the US government, which means that travel from Brazil, China, the European Schengen Area, Iran, Ireland, South Africa and the United Kingdom is not permitted. Exceptions apply to U.S. citizens, family members, or permanent residents. Travel from all other countries is allowed.

All air travelers entering the United States must now have a negative Covid-19 test result.

Out-of-state travelers are allowed to enter New York state but must have a Covid-19 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 complete this 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 performed and document their laboratory results or recovery from Covid-19 within three days of their departure for the United States.

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 a non-contiguous state for less than 24 hours 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?

After months of falling daily cases in New York City, the number of infections rose again in the fall, with a record high in early January. As of January 27, more than 26,700 deaths had been recorded. The daily cases have been decreasing lately.

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.

usefull links

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.

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