Journey to New York Metropolis Throughout Covid-19: What You Want To Know Earlier than You Go

If you are planning on traveling 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, there was an increase in infections in late 2020 through January and new lockdown measures were put in place. Those numbers have decreased.

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, meaning travel from Brazil, China, the European Schengen Area, Iran, Ireland, South Africa, and the United Kingdom are 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 must 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 US states must 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 visit the Covid-19 Travel Advice website for full instructions.

And from January 26th, 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 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?

After months of falling daily cases in New York City, the number of infections spiked again in the fall of 2020, with a record high in early January before declining again. More than 28,000 deaths have been recorded as of February 17.

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.

The indoor dining, which had been interrupted since mid-December, was allowed to resume on February 12 with a capacity of 25%.

Al fresco dining continues and restaurants and bars are developing ad hoc structures. Tent canopies and heaters are used over the winter. Bars and restaurants have to close at 11 p.m.

The museums are open but have started making timed reservations to comply with the lower capacity rules. MoMA, the Museum of Natural History, and the Whitney all have a policy on pre-purchased tickets. 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 Safe Eating During the Pandemic, or read more about Bar Dante, named second 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 in our list of the world’s best desserts.

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