Explore New York City

New York City's COVID-19 Update

Your latest news on the pandemic in the Big Apple.

We're still at the beginning of 2022, and the Coronavirus is still one of the hottest topics of conversation; especially with an everchanging situation and frequently updated restrictions and guidelines. If you haven't visited New York City in a while, you may not be up to date on the latest restrictions and updates on how businesses are responding.

Luckily, we're here to help! Here's the latest on what you need to know about COVID in the city. So wash your hands and get ready to explore NYC safely!

Your NYC COVID-19 Guide

Due to the surge of cases in New York City, businesses have had to enforce new restrictions on customers to ensure both visitors and employees alike are protected. Some require face masks for customers; some only require a vaccine, or some require both! It may seem confusing at first and be a lot to take in, but don't worry. Here's a basic summary of what you need to know:

  • The mask mandate in New York has been lifted; however, private businesses have the option to ask that visitors wear face coverings, so make sure to have some handy just in case. Masks are currently required in schools, shelters and medical facilities.
  • Airports still require that travelers face coverings that cover the nose and mouth. Fitted masks are still required on flights as well—make sure to check your airline for the types of masks that are allowed (some do not accept cloth masks and some request surgical masks).
  • Masks are required on all MTA services regardless of vaccination status.
  • Broadway still requires masks in addition to vaccines for all audience members, employees and cast members over the age of five. 
Hanging Face Masks | WhereTraveler
Hanging Face Masks (©Isaac Quesada)

Proof of Vaccination

Most businesses in New York City require proof of vaccination from customers before they enter (known as the Key to NYC). This includes all indoor dining, gyms and indoor attractions/venues (aka most of the good stuff).

Full vaccination is generally defined as two doses of a WHO or FDA-approved multiple-shot set (Pfizer, Moderna, Astrazenica, etc) or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. A list of accepted vaccines can be found here. Guests 18 and over must also show photo identification that matches the name on the vaccination card.

Proof of vaccination can be provided as either your physical CDC Vaccination Card (or your NYC Vaccination Record) or on your phone via several ways- ​​The NYC COVID Safe App (AndroidiOS), CLEAR Health Pass (AndroidiOS) or Excelsior Pass

Digital Vaccine Card | WhereTraveler
Digital Vaccine Card (©Jeremy Bezanger)

Vaccine Sites

You know what types of restrictions exist and how to prove you're vaccinated, but where can you get the COVID-19 vaccine if you haven’t already received it? Thankfully, New York City is big enough to hold several vaccine sites, depending on where you are. You can find them in every borough of the city, whether pop-up or community health clinic. They exist as indoor facilities or mobile units like vans.

Most of these sites offer the Pfizer vaccine both for adults and children. However, others provide Moderna and Johnson & Johnson alongside Pfizer. National pharmacies like CVSWalgreensand Rite Aid are also providing vaccines. Here are some of the other places you can visit to get your shot:

COVID-19 Vaccination | WhereTraveler
COVID-19 Vaccination (Courtesy CDC)

COVID Testing Sites

Have you been having symptoms of COVID-19 during or before your visit to New York City? If you think you might have been infected, you can get tested at centers throughout the city. Local clinics and Urgent Care centers have set up testing locations inside that will help give you answers in no time.

If you're on the go, you can also find mobile testing sites set up throughout the area. You can either go as a walk-in patient or make an official appointment. Many of these sites can be found in Lower Manhattan, but other boroughs offer testing sites in areas like Bedford-Stuyvesant and Jamaica. Here are some of the places that can give you the test results you may need:

Many national pharmacies are also offering testing; however, many locations will require an appointment. You can find COVID-19 tests at CVS PharmaciesWalgreens and Rite Aid

COVID-19 Testing | WhereTraveler
COVID-19 Testing (©Mufid Majnun)