New York has come a long way from being marked as the state with the highest level of COVID-19 infection to the lowest in the country. While the city has granted more free access for travelers, the authorities continue to take up strict measures that help limit the spread of COVID-19. Find out all that you need to know before you plan a visit to New York. Disclaimer: This blog is updated weekly to the best of our knowledge. For the latest travel advisories, we recommend checking the official government website.
Travel Restrictions in New York - An Overview
New travel restrictions have been introduced that allows visitors from out of state to test out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Under the new approach, travelers will be required to get a test for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their departure. Following which, they will have to quarantine in New York for three days before being allowed to get tested again on the fourth day. If both tests are negative, they will be free exit their remaining quarantine period.
Who Can Visit New York Now?
Transportation in New York - Restrictions
Based on the updated guidelines released by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), a new and effective system has been introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus. Here is everything you need to know:
- All passengers are required to wear a face mask. You can get one for free or buy one from the station booths if you forget to carry them. Riders who refuse to wear a mask could get charged a $50 fine.
- Social distancing needs to be followed whenever possible.
- It is advised to travel during less busy times.
- Signs and floor markings have been installed at various points within the station, ensuring a safe travel as well as help in maintaining social distancing as much as possible.
- PPE vending machines will be present at 10 stations.
- Services will be increased on subways, buses, LIRR and MNR to provide space as much as possible.
- Intensified cleaning procedures have been put in place across the system.
- Station agents, station ambassadors and wayfinders have been deployed to enhance maximum safety and security.
Eating out in New York - Restrictions
Outdoor dining has gained huge popularity among New Yorkers especially after the pandemic. However, with winter on its way, the city takes up extensive preparation to withstand its harsh weather conditions. Find out the latest covid guidelines put in place at restaurants in New York:
- Restaurants will be heating up their outdoor seating areas using a combination of standing and overhead heaters. With city officials enabling the use of propane and gas-fueled heaters, the list of restaurants providing heated outdoor seating will only continue to grow.
- Whereas, the occupancy limit set on indoor dining is 25% ensuring social distancing is maintained at all times.
- Online reservations are recommended to avoid queuing at the restaurant.
- Temperature checks will be conducted upon arrival to the venue.
- Tables, door handles and other common touch points will be frequently cleaned and sanitised by the staff.
- Customer records will be taken by the restaurant staff on arrival for contact tracing, if required.
- Hand sanitizing stations have been installed in almost all restaurants for guests to avail.
- Guests are advised to use contactless payment when visiting any restaurant or cafe.
New York Travel Protocols
While the State of New York has gone from having the highest infection rate to the lowest in the country, the Governor has taken up strict actions as they resume travel to and from the city.
Currently, all travelers entering New York from a state that is not contiguous, or from a CDC Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice country must quarantine for a period of 14 days as per the Department of Health regulations of quarantine, unless:
- For travelers who traveled outside of New York for less than 24 hours, they need not test prior to departure from the state and will not have to quarantine upon arrival. However, such travelers must continue to fill out the traveler form upon entry and need to take a diagnostic test on the fourth day after arriving in New York.
- For travelers who have traveled outside New York for more than 24 hours, they must undergo testing prior to departure from that state, within 72 hours of departure before arriving in New York. Such travelers must quarantine for a minimum of three days upon arrival in New York and on the day 4 may seek a diagnostic test to avoid further quarantine. The traveler can exit quarantine upon receipt of a second negative test result.
- Exceptions to the travel advisory are granted for essential workers traveling from a non-contiguous state or Level 2 or Level 3 country and are limited based on the duration of time in New York state.
- It is mandatory to abide by the new safety guidelines put in place. Any violation may be deemed a violation to section 12 subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000.
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Quarantine Rules in New York
If you’re arriving in New York from a non-contiguous state or designated country, and if such travel was more than 24 hours, you will be required to quarantine until you test out or for a 14 day period. The quarantine rules are as follows::
- The individual must not be in public or leave the quarters where they have quarantined.
- The individual must be situated in separate quarters with a separate bathroom facility. No area should be shared with another person or a family group.
- The individual must have a way to sell-quarantine from household members as soon as fever or other symptoms develop.
- Food must be delivered to the person’s quarters.
- Face masks must be supplied to quarters for individuals to put on if they have become symptomatic.
- It is necessary to have a system for temperature and symptom monitoring to provide assessment within the quarters.
- All nearby medical facilities must be notified, if the individual begins to experience mild symptoms or requires any medical assistance.
Tips For Staying Safe in New York
- It is highly recommended to stay at home if you’re feeling sick unless you are leaving for essential medical care (including COVID-19 testing) or other essential errands.
- A social distancing of at least 6 feet needs to be maintained from others.
- Chances are you can be contagious without symptoms and might spread the disease when you cough, sneeze or even talk. Face masks help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or you can also use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if available.
- It is advised to frequently clean all common touch points and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands as well.
- Avoid large gatherings as this highers the risk of getting affected by COVID-19.
- When meeting your close family members or friends, it is recommended to bring your own beverage and not share food around as it can spread the virus.
- Activities such as running, walking or cycling are safe sports to do alone or with others by abiding by the social distancing protocol.
COVID Travel Resources New York
- MTA service during the coronavirus pandemic - Metropolitan Transportation Authority
- COVID-19: Tips on Getting Together Safely - NYC Health
- Interim Guidance for Quarantine Restrictions on Travelers Arriving in New York State Following Out of State Travel - New York Department of Health