New York travel during Covid-19: what you need to know before you go

Editor’s note – Cases of the coronavirus continue to rise. Health officials recommend delaying travel unless you are fully vaccinated and caught up on boosters. This article was last updated on September 21.

(CNN) – If you’re planning to travel to New York, here’s what to know about Covid-19 and what to expect if you plan to visit.

Latest news

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced on September 7 that face masks are now optional in many settings where they were required.

For tourists visiting New York City, this includes:

• Public transport (e.g. metro and bus)
• Vehicles for hire (eg taxis, limousines and Uber rides)
• Airports

the basics

Broadway theater operators are now allowing theatergoers to attend with optional masks, the Broadway League says.

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

Proof of vaccination is not required for patrons of the city’s dining, fitness and entertainment venues.

While the CDC still recommends that everyone age 2 and older wear a well-fitting mask on public transportation, masks are now not required on airplanes, trains, and other public transportation.

What is offered

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

Who can go

Fully vaccinated foreign travelers (meaning people who are not US citizens or lawful permanent residents) are allowed to enter the United States, including New York City.

US citizens or legal residents do not need vaccinations to return to the United States.

New York has no restrictions for domestic travelers.

What are the restrictions?

Unincorporated travelers from abroad are no longer permitted to enter the United States, with limited exceptions. These exceptions include unvaccinated children under the age of 18.

New York’s travel advisory expired in June 2021, and travelers are no longer required to submit travel health forms. The state still encourages all travelers to follow CDC guidelines.

What is the Covid situation?

Despite the latest relaxation of rules, New York’s Covid alert system says there are still high levels of Covid-19 transmission in the city. Although optional, visitors and residents are still encouraged to:

• Wear a high-quality mask in all public indoors and outdoors around crowds
• Know about vaccines
• Test before and after travel or gatherings.

As of September 7, a total of more than 41,800 confirmed and probable deaths and nearly 2.85 million confirmed or probable cases had been recorded since the start of the pandemic. The city’s test positivity rate has been 9.2% in the past seven days

What can visitors expect?

Despite Broadway’s mask-optional update, owners and operators will encourage audience members to wear masks at all 41 Broadway theaters.

Masking protocols will be decided on a month-to-month basis as the league continues to monitor the science, the Broadway League said.

Restaurants, cinemas and other venues are open. NYC’s key policy — allowing only vaccinated customers inside access — expired in March.

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Forrest Brown, Marnie Hunter, Joe Minihane, Julia Buckley and Richard Davis contributed to this report.