After a very rough year, eager travelers want to know, Can I travel to New York right now? In the U.S., New York City was the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic last March. Hospitals struggled to manage a massive influx of patients and an underprepared infrastructure.
The 2020 summer season in New York offered a brief respite, but a rise in infections occurred over the year-end holiday season. New lockdown measures across NYC were imposed; case numbers are dropping but the city isn’t completely out of the woods yet. However, swift vaccine rollout means that as time goes on, the panorama looks better every day.
If you’re hoping to plan travel to New York, read on for all of the information you’ll need.
Can I Travel to New York Right Now?
Travel to New York: The Basics
For both domestic and international travel to New York, the City has comprehensive measures in place. Out of state visitors are allowed to visit New York but until now have been required to quarantine for 10 days, or use a testing regimen to shorten this period. A PCR test must be taken three days before arrival, followed by a three-day quarantine period, and concluding with a second (negative) test.
However, following an announcement by the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, from April 1 domestic travelers to New York from another US state or territory will not be required to quarantine. The health department does recommend it as an added precaution, however.
Travelers to New York from neighboring states are also exempt from the quarantine or testing requirement, but must complete a health form online. On March 3, Gov. Cuomo announced that US visitors from other states that have been fully vaccinated in the past 90 days would no longer have to test and quarantine.
Mandatory quarantines will remain in effect for international travelers to New York after April 1.
What’s Open in New York?
In early March, restrictions in New York began to loosen and activity picked up. If you plan to travel to New York soon, you’ll find that there are plenty of things to do – as long as you continue to respect social distancing and mask requirements.
Starting March 22, capacity for outdoor gatherings in New York will increase from 10 to 25 people. The limit for indoor gatherings remains at 10 people. For social gatherings in public spaces, capacity limits for indoor events will increase from 50 to 100 people, and outdoor event capacity will go from 50 to 200 people.
Hotels in New York
If you travel to New York and need to stay in a hotel, you have plenty of options. Take note that properties require guests from restricted states to fill out a traveler health form before beginning their stay.
Hotel employees and guests are required to wear cloth face coverings that fit snugly over the nose and mouth, unless it is medically unsafe to do so. Guests over the age of two are required to wear a mask in all public areas of a hotel, and will be provided with a mask if they don’t have one on hand.
Restaurants in New York
Indoor dining is currently allowed at 35 % capacity, and starting March 19 was expanded to 50% capacity. Outdoor dining continues, with restaurants and bars offering alternative structures to handle the weather. Bars and restaurants across New York city must close at 11 PM.
Museums in New York
New York’s museums are open, but have started mandating timed reservations, in a bid to comply with lower capacity rules. MoMA, the Museum of Natural History, and the Whitney are all operating a policy of pre-bought tickets only. Visitors can also expect temperature checks on arrival.
Shopping in New York
Non-essential retail shops are open for business in New York. Masks are mandatory in public, however, and social distancing guidelines apply across the board.
Sports Arenas in New York
Since the end of February, New York’s large sports arenas have been allowed to operate at 10% capacity, though fans must wear a mask and test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of the event.