In August of 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosened its COVID-19 travel guidelines, saying that the virus is “here to stay”. The country has vaccines and boosters to help minimize severe illness. In a recent interview, President Biden said “the pandemic is over.”
They’ll no longer announce CDC travel advisories about restrictions and protocols. Instead, the agency is going to issue travel health notices but only when a COVID-19 variant becomes concerning enough to affect travel recommendations.
In New York, the city is open and business establishments are operating as before the pandemic. Here are some valuable and current details for safely navigating the boroughs of NYC.
People are still encouraged to wear face masks in indoor spaces. In September of 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that mask-wearing is no longer mandated on NYC’s public transportation. However, it’s still recommended on subways, buses, and trains.
As for businesses, it’s up to the owners if they would require masking inside their establishments. In healthcare facilities, face masks are still mandatory.
International travelers are allowed to enter the US as long as anyone over the age of 18 must be fully vaccinated. Accepted proof of COVID-19 vaccination includes:
- Vaccination certificate with QR code1
- Digital pass via Smartphone application with QR code1
Non-verifiable paper records
- Printout of COVID-19 vaccination record
- COVID-19 vaccination certificate issued by an authorized vaccine provider
Non-verifiable digital records
- Digital photo of vaccination card or record
- Downloaded vaccine record or vaccination certificate from an official source
- Mobile phone application without QR code1
The proof of COVID-19 vaccination must include:
- The individual’s full name plus either a date of birth or passport number. These should match the details on the passenger’s passport and travel documents.
- Name of official source issuing the record. This could be a public health agency, government agency, or other authorized vaccine providers.
- Vaccine manufacturer
- Date of vaccination
Returning travelers, including US citizens, don’t need vaccines to be allowed entry to the US. As for domestic travelers, there are no restrictions when it comes to entering New York.
COVID-19 tests are no longer required but are highly recommended before and after travel. Travelers no longer have to show proof of a recent negative test result, unless they are showing symptoms.
It’s strongly recommended to get tested before and after your trip. If you tested positive for COVID-19, check the CDC website for the proper isolation procedure.
Things you need to know before you travel
When traveling to New York or any state in the United States, it’s important to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus. Here are some tips to help make your trip safe and seamless:
Accepted COVID-19 vaccines
Make sure you’re updated with the latest COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Accepted vaccines are as follows:
Approved or authorized by the Food and Drug Administration
- Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech)
- Spikevax (Moderna)
Listed for Emergency Use (EUL) by the World Health Organization
- Convidecia (CanSinoBIO)
- Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca)
- CoronaVac (Sinovac)
- Nuvaxovid (Novavax)
Entry and exit requirements
COVID travel guidance may vary per location depending on their COVID situation. Make sure to check your destination for their specific entry and exit requirements.
International travel advisory changes often so check with the Department of State for updated safety and security information for your chosen destination.
COVID-19 international travel rules change frequently. Always check with the Department of State for travel advisories. Also, get recommendations from the CDC before making any international travel plans to or from the U.S.
Bring a face mask
Always bring a mask to protect yourself in indoor and crowded areas. There are certain establishments that mandate customers to wear a high-quality mask or respirator within their premises. This is to prevent you from getting prohibited from entering for the simple reason that you don’t have one.
Washing with soap and water is the most effective way to clean and disinfect your hands. If regular handwashing is not possible, bring a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Enjoy safe travels anywhere
Traveling is now allowed in most countries around the world. Although there are still COVID cases being recorded daily, the number is too low to warrant strict COVID travel restrictions. But still, safety comes first.
If you need to get tested or vaccinated, go to a trustworthy and reliable travel clinic or urgent care center near you.