Is It SAFE to Travel to NEW YORK Right Now During Covid? (2022 Update)

Is it safe to visit New York City during COVID?

New Covid-19 vaccine restrictions will be imposed in New York City in the next few days, as Omicron infections continue to spike across the state.

People above the age of 12 must provide proof of being fully vaccinated to enter restaurants, cafeterias, coffee shops, all types of restaurants including fast food venues, gyms, fitness centers, pools, and theaters beginning Jan. 29.

Mayor Bill de Blasio stated earlier this month that the city will implement a vaccine requirement for private-sector workers, making it the first in the United States to implement such action.

Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours.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.

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Current Covid situation in New York City

Data from: From The New York Times · Last updated: December 28

New York City is experiencing a huge spike in Covid cases due to an Omicron variant outbreak.

Current COVID situation in New York State

New York state reported 48,836 daily cases on December 28. Which is more than double of the cases in the highest peak of the 2nd wave. In total New York state has reported over 3.21 million cases and 58,604 deaths.

Latest Updates

December 28 – Attendees to the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square must be fully vaccinated

New York isn’t willing to take any chances. All visitors to the world-famous New Year’s Eve celebration must have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination at least two weeks prior to the event and must wear a face mask at all times.

Furthermore, Time Square will not accommodate the usual 58,000 people as it normally does. Viewing locations will be limited to around 15,000 to allow for more social distancing.

According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, “there is a lot to celebrate and these additional safety measures will keep the fully vaccinated crowd safe and healthy as we ring in the New Year.” 

New York safe to travel - holidays

Where to get a COVID-19 Vaccine in New York?

Locals can book their vaccine appointments here,

What can tourists expect in New York City now?

Most restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and other venues are open in NYC. However, be aware that indoor spaces only allow vaccinated visitors.

Both indoor and outdoor activities are relatively safe as long as you avoid overcrowded areas and wear a mask when social distancing is not possible. 

New York’s Health Care System and Response Capacity

New York safe to travel - holidays

When it comes to medical services 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. 


December 12 – NYC expands its vaccination mandate to all private-sector workers; kids to be required vaccination to access indoor activities

Starting from December 27, all New York City private-sector workers will become subject to the city’s vaccine mandate. It will affect around 184,000 businesses.

Also, two doses of the vaccine will be required instead of proof of only one dose. People inoculated with Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose jab are excluded from this rule.

As of December 14, kids aged 5 to 11 will be required to show proof of at least one dose of the vaccine to access indoor activities as they only became eligible for their first shot in early November.

Source: NBC New York

November 14 – Ten of New York state mass COVID-19 vaccination centers now open to children aged 5 to 11

10 New York state mass coronavirus vaccination sites have opened to children aged 5 to 11, announced Gov. Kathy Hochul on Saturday, November 13.

Up to date, more than 50,000 children have received their shots since the CDC approved the Pfizer vaccine for youngsters. Hochul has been encouraging parents to reach out to their pediatricians and health care providers. But to speed up the process, she has also directed the mass vaccination centers to open their door to the youngest age group.

The centers that administer COVID-19 vaccines to children in the State of New York are as follows:

  • Syracuse: The Great New York State Fair – Art and Home Center
  • Glen Head: SUNY Old Westbury – Clark Athletic Center
  • Albany: Crossgates Mall, Former Lord & Taylor Store – Upper Level
  • South Ozone Park: Aqueduct Racetrack
  • Rochester: Rochester Educational Opportunity Center
  • Brooklyn: Medgar Evers College
  • Bronx: Bay Eden Senior Center
  • Yonkers: New York National Guard Armory
  • Stony Brook: SUNY Stony Brook
  • Buffalo: University at Buffalo South Campus

Source: CBS News

September 26 – COVID-19 vaccine mandate for NYC educators temporarily blocked

A federal court has temporarily blocked the coronavirus mandate for teachers. Followingly, the case was sent to a three-judge circuit court panel review.

The mandate was set to come into effect on Monday, September 27, and required all educators of NYC to show proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. There was no testing alternative, as Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on August 31.

NYC Department of Education does not expect the decision to be made before Wednesday. However, press secretary Danielle Filson is confident the mandate will be approved.

Source: CNN

August 31 – New York won’t implement mandatory vaccine for school staff

Even though a number of other U.S. states opt for mandatory vaccination of education employees, New York won’t implement a vaccination mandate for its school staff.

Instead, it will require weekly testing for the vaccinated, announced Gov. Kathy Hochul today. She sees it as a compromise.

On the other hand, she isn’t open to discussion about wearing masks in schools. ‘I announced, and wanted to give enough notice, that we will have a mask mandate,’ she said stressing protecting the people of the state was now most important.

Source: ABC7 NY

August 13 – Hospitalizations in New York quadruple as the Delta variant continues to spread.

For the first time in three months, New York has seen more than 1,300 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

On Tuesday, August 10, it reported 1,367 hospitalizations. On Thursday, August 12, nearly 1,450 New Yorkers suffering from coronavirus were hospitalized. Compared to 339 hospitalizations registered on July 10, the numbers almost quadrupled.

The rising number of people in hospitals comes as the more contagious Delta variant continues to spread in the state. The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units is also around four times higher than reported a month ago.

Source: Newsweek, NBC New York

August 6 – New York to require “Key to NYC Pass” to access indoor activities from August 16.

As other major cities in the world, New York will request visitors and locals to bring their “Key to NYC Pass” to unlock access to indoor bars, restaurants, and gyms from August 16. 

“When you hear those words, I want you to imagine the notion that because someone is vaccinated, they can do all the amazing things that are available in New York City,” he said. “If you’re unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in many things,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio Tuesday.

De Blasio also announced that his team is working with the business community to get some input over the next few weeks. 

The final details of the policy will be announced one week before Aug. 16.

“It’s time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary to living a good and full and healthy life,” de Blasio said. 

Source: The New York Times

July 28 – Governor Cuomo “seriously considering” to reverse indoor mask wearing lifting in New York.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Tuesday that everyone, even fully vaccinated people should start wearing face masks again after noticing that not only unvaccinated but also vaccinated people are spreading the Delta variant. 

Earlier today, Gov. Cuomo told a business group his administration is still reviewing the recommendation but that local governments reporting high levels of transmission should “seriously consider” adopting the recommendation. 

He also announced that New York state employees should be fully vaccinated by September 6 or will face “aggressive testing requirements”.

Source: NBC New York

July 15 – COVID-19 cases surge in New York but the city is still safe

New York City is experiencing a notable increase in positive COVID-19 cases over the last couple of weeks. Most of the new infections have been reported in neighborhoods with low vaccination rates, according to official data. 

With more than 400 new cases per day, the positivity rate went from 0.6 percent to 1.3 percent in only 2 weeks.

On July 14, the New York Health Department said that 98.8% of the 8,163 people who have lost their lives to the virus in 2021 were not vaccinated. 

According to a Yale University study, vaccinations have “prevented about 250,000 COVID-19 cases, 44,000 hospitalizations and 8,300 deaths in the city.”

As for now, the city will not introduce further restrictions. 

Source: The New York Times

June 23 – Governor Andrew Cuomo lifted all COVID-19 related restrictions as the city is safer now

New York is safer than ever. Last week, Gov. Coumo announced the lifting of all remaining COVID-19 related restrictions as the state managed to immunize more than 70 percent of its adult population. 

“It is an important milestone, and we’re going to keep pushing to do more,” said Coumo at a press conference. 

Unvaccinated locals and visitors should still wear a face mask in indoor settings, as recommended by CDC. 

(Source: New York Gov.)

June 6 – New York City has reopened multiple places and activities in June. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio is determined to bring New York City back to its old self. 

The celebrated MTA music program resumed for the first time since the pandemic struck. 

Locals and visitors were able to enjoy the more than a dozen musical artists who performed at stations across the city last Friday.

Also, 250 city senior centers were reopened for outdoor services and will reopen indoor programs on June 14. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people are welcome. 

“We know our seniors have deeply missed the opportunity to be together. We also know seniors bore the brunt of the COVID crisis,” said de Blasio.

(Source: CCS New York)

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