Editor’s note: Coronavirus cases remain high around the world. Health authorities warn that traveling increases the risk of contracting and spreading the virus. Staying home is the best way to slow transmission.
(CNN) — If you plan to visit New York, take this information into account so as not to be taken by surprise. This is what you can expect when visiting during the covid-19 pandemic.
New York State lifted nearly all travel restrictions due to the pandemic in June, as 70% of New Yorkers ages 18 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
However, on August 17, a new vaccination requirement called “Key to NYC” came into effect in response to the delta variant outbreak. This requirement requires proof of vaccination for customers and employees of restaurants, gyms and entertainment centers.
Compliance with these measures will take effect on September 13, according to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Some of the places of interest for travelers that are part of the requirement are restaurants, night clubs, concert halls, museums, performing arts theaters, cinemas, bowling alleys, arcades, casinos, cabarets, gymnasiums, swimming pools and cafeterias with indoor dining.
The mayor is following guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which recommend the use of masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, but has not issued a mandate for the use of masks.
What does the city offer
New York is the ultimate city break. The city has the largest urban panorama in the world; with culture, from the Guggenheim to the MoMA; with spectacular cuisine, from Chinese delights in Flushing to Italian in the Bronx; and from the green bet of Central Park to the bustling Lower East Side.
Who can go?
New York is subject to US government regulations which means travel is not permitted from Brazil, China, European Schengen Area, India, Iran, Ireland, South Africa and the UK. There are exemptions for US citizens, family members or permanent residents. Travelers from all other countries are allowed entry.
All travelers entering the United States by air must have a negative COVID-19 test result.
What are the restrictions?
Asymptomatic travelers arriving in New York from another country, state or U.S. territory are not required to undergo a COVID-19 test or quarantine.
New York authorities continue to recommend quarantine for all travelers who are not fully vaccinated or have not recovered from covid-19 in the previous three months. It is also recommended that these travelers be tested three to five days after arriving in New York.
All travelers entering the United States by air must have a negative COVID-19 test result. Passengers must undergo a virus test within three days of departing their flight to the United States and present documentation of lab results or documentation that they have recovered from covid-19.
What is the covid-19 situation?
As of September 9, there have been nearly 33,970 total confirmed and probable deaths and more than 1,047,000 total confirmed or probable cases. The test positivity rate is 4.14% over the past 28 days.
What can visitors expect?
Restaurants, cinemas and other venues are open, but only to fully vaccinated customers.
The city strongly recommends wearing a mask in enclosed spaces, but has decided not to make it a requirement. The “Key to NYC” vaccination mandate will begin to be implemented by the city on September 13, giving businesses and residents a few weeks to work out the details before penalties for non-compliance are applied.
Broadway will still reopen in September, but you will need to be vaccinated to attend and masks will be required except for eating and drinking. These rules will be in effect until October. You can check out the list of shows on Broadway.com.
The Empire State Building’s 86th-floor observation deck is open. The Metropolitan Museum of Art requires visitors over the age of 12 to be vaccinated and children aged 2 to 11 must wear a mask.
The metro system continues to operate 24 hours a day.
New York State has implemented the Excelsior Pass, which allows people with a negative test or vaccine in New York State to show proof of their status. The digital pass is not required for places or events that require tests or vaccinations to enter, so an out-of-state traveler can use their own vaccination card or the result of a lab test to enter.
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Joe Minihane, Julia Buckley, Kristina Sgueglia, Marnie Hunter and Forrest Brown contributed reporting.