Is It Safe to Visit New York City Right Now?

Is it safe to visit New York City during COVID?

Following a few precautions, it is safe and easy to visit NYC right now. Domestic travelers can come and go without any requirement. International visitors need to bring a negative COVID-19 test as required by federal laws. 

New York City is slowly returning to its normal self. Schools are open again (from Feb. 27) and indoor dining is allowed (from Feb.14). 

Most museums and cultural venues are open to the public with a few biosafety measures. 

Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.

Latest Updates:

April 7 – NYC reopens tourist venues after a year of closure

Earlier today, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the reopening of the city’s 14 miles of public beaches and all outdoor pools for the spring/summer season.

Eight beaches on “Coney Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn; Rockaway Beach in Queens; Orchard Beach in the Bronx; and Midland, South, Cedar Grove and Wolfe’s Pond Park beaches on Staten Island” will reopen on May 29.  Public pools will reopen on June 26 in all 5 counties. However, multipliple COVID-19 precautions and restrictions will apply at those places according to De Blasio. 

March 2:

According to recent study, a new strain of Coronavirus is spreading around New Your City at a fast pace.

Whether it’s stronger than other variants or how it’s going to affect vaccinations have not been confirmed yet. (Source:

Current COVID situation in New York State

New York is now the 3rd most infected state in the United States with a total of 1,960,669 recorded COVID-19 cases and 51,037 deaths.

Below, the most affected counties sorted by new cases count over the last 7 days.

COVID-19 cases in New York
Daily change of COVID cases in New York State (Source)

What am I allowed to do in New York City?

Visitors can enjoy Bryant Park Winter Village and go ice skating at multiple locations around town.

Freezing temperatures are receding which makes it the perfect time to visit outdoor attractions like Central Park, Brooklyn Botanical Garden or the Bronx Zoo while staying safely away from crowds.

Although there has been a rise in cases following the recent holidays, local authorities are trusting in a combination of testing and vaccination to keep the death toll low.

Outdoor activities like riding a bike, walking through a park, or just strolling around the city are safe as long as visitors avoid overcrowded areas and wear a mask when social distancing is not possible. 

Indoor spaces open to the public have their own set of rules (mostly mandatory mask policies) so business owners need to make sure to follow their instructions.

Visitors and locals are still waiting for that happy day when Broadway shows and other indoor favorite attractions are back, but even without them there is still plenty to do in the city.

Why visit NYC in COVID times?

New York safe to travel - holidays

The temperature in the city is rising slowly, to a nice cool breeze. On warmer days just a cozy layered sweater or a nice thick coat will make people ready to enjoy the many restaurants and bars with outdoor dining areas.

For those who would rather not be outside, most businesses have used the time in lockdown to condition their spaces to comply with the city requirements for indoor activities. There is a very good chance that the restaurant everyone has been waiting to try is open to the public. 

New York City authorities have devised multiple policies to keep the population safe. Most of them are directed at businesses, but there is also a restriction to 10 people in private gatherings that may affect family or friends gathering plans.  

New York’s Health Care System and Response Capacity

New York safe to travel - holidays

When it comes to medical service in the United States people get what they pay for. Extensively documented research has shown that black and Latino communities are not only more likely than white people to be exposed to COVID-19, require hospitalization, but also die due to the medical facilities and inadequate equipment at the hospitals they have access to.

On the other hand, at the private medical centers in Manhattan, Patients have access to cutting edge technology, specialized drugs and around the clock care. Most of these patients, however, have some of the best insurance plans that cover COVID-19 treatments.

For foreigners who have insurance that covers COVID, it is strongly recommended to double-check with the insurance broker to what extent they will be covered in case they get sick. Many of these companies have multiple “only if” restrictions on their plans. 

What type of restrictions I may face in New York and how to avoid fines

Starting April 1, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo decided to lift the mandatory quarantine when visitors come from another U.S. State Or U.S. territory. It still applies for international travelers arriving in New York. 

All travelers must still fill out the Traveler Health Form and agree to follow the health guidelines to avoid fines and other inconveniences.

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New York safe to visit - COVID-19
New York safe to visit - COVID-19
New York safe to visit - COVID-19