While New York City is open and vaccinations have been a boon to everyday life and local business, Covid-19 remains a reality for all of us. Below you’ll find the most useful and current information for navigating the five boroughs, plus plenty of resources for planning ahead.
On May 16, 2022, with the City approaching a “high” alert phase for Covid-19 transmission rates, the NYC health commissioner issued an advisory that high-quality (KN-95 or other medical grade) masks should be worn in indoor public settings. While short of a mandate, the recommendations represent the best-known way, along with vaccinations, boosters and common-sense precautions among those most at risk, to reduce the risk of transmission.
This comes a few months after the mask mandate had been lifted in New York. Governor Hochul announced that beginning February 10, 2022, mask wearing will no longer be mandated by the state in indoor public places, and that schools, as of March 2, no longer require masking. Mayor Adams followed by lifting the mask mandate for schools as of March 7 and suspending the Key to NYC initiative—which required patrons ages 5 and older to show proof of vaccination for indoor activities at restaurants, bars, gyms, cultural venues and entertainment facilities. Individual businesses may, however, continue to require masks and proof of vaccination at their own discretion. As well, the lifting of the mandate does not extend to public transit and transit-related spaces, including the subway, airports and bus and train stations. For more information, visit ny.gov. Also, testing protocols for incoming international travelers were tightened in recent months. See the “International Travel” section below for details.
In December 2021, City Hall announced a vaccine mandate for all private employers in New York City. This went into effect December 27: employees who work in person must have one dose of the vaccine and follow that with a second dose within 45 days. The recent changes by the Governor and Mayor do not affect this requirement. Those who work remotely will not be required to get the vaccine.
Officials at the Centers for Disease Control recommend that everyone 18 and older get a booster shot five months after receiving a two-course dose of the Moderna vaccine and two months after receiving a single dose of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine; if you received the Pfizer vaccine, a booster is recommended for everyone 12 and older. A second booster is also recommended for adults 50 and over; it should be at least four months after the first booster and should be an mRNA (Moderna or Pfizer) vaccine. For more information, visit cdc.gov.
Mask wearing is strongly advised in indoor spaces, as declared by city health officials on May 16, 2022. Governor Hochul had announced in February 2022 that the state mandate for masks to be worn in indoor public places was being lifted. Businesses may still choose to implement the mandate, and the mask requirement remains in effect for public transit, Broadway theaters and a number of additional locations, such as health-care facilities.
Most Broadway shows are ongoing or have scheduled dates in the near future to resume their runs. To help consumers, the Broadway League has launched BwayToday.com, featuring updated schedules of all the shows playing on Broadway this season. This resource also provides access to each Broadway show’s website for more information. All listings include the most current information on performance times and reflect any cancellations.
Most Broadway theaters in New York City have stopped checking vaccinations for audience members, as well as performers, backstage crew and staff. Masks, however, are also required for audiences inside theaters, except while eating or drinking in designated locations, through the end of May. For more information, visit broadway.org.
The NYC subway continues to operate with 24-hour service. Riders must continue to wear masks. For more information, visit mta.info.
As of November 8, 2021, international travelers may once again enter the country to visit New York City. All travelers over the age of 18 must be fully vaccinated. Full vaccination occurs two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Vaccines listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization, such as the AstraZeneca vaccine, as well as FDA- or WHO-approved mixed doses, also qualify.
President Biden recently announced the requirement that all inbound international travelers 2 years or older, regardless of vaccination status, must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result within the 24 hours prior to departure (this one-day rule took the place of the previous 72-hour-advance regulation). Either a rapid antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (like a PCR test) will be accepted. For more information, visit cdc.gov.
As of January 22, 2022, both essential and nonessential travelers who enter the States by crossing land borders or arriving by port must provide proof of full vaccination. We will continue to update this page as requirements evolve.
For the latest on international travel requirements, visit cdc.gov.
How to Get Vaccinated
Covid-19 vaccines are available in NYC to all US residents who are 5 and older, including domestic visitors to the five boroughs. Those who are ages 5 through 17 are only eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is a two-dose regimen with at least 21 days between shots.
There are many ways to get vaccinated:
- New York City offers this comprehensive vaccine-finder tool, updated on a rolling basis, which includes links to local vaccination centers and pharmacies.
- You may call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692) to schedule an appointment and for more information.
- A number of sites across the five boroughs are now offering walk-up appointments. You can see these here.
- New York State operates vaccination centers across the City, including those at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens and Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. Book appointments here.
- See other appointments nationwide with the CDC’s vaccine-finder tool.
To allow visitors access to the vaccine, the City operates a limited number of pop-up vaccination hubs in areas around the five boroughs, including near movie theaters, libraries and transit stops; locations may change from week to week. For a list of walk-up sites and for more information, visit nyc.gov.
How to Get Tested
Covid-19 testing is widely available throughout New York City. A number of resources can assist in scheduling PCR or rapid-antigen tests:
- New York City offers this comprehensive testing website, which includes a searchable map of all testing locations throughout the five boroughs, along with basic information about the tests themselves.
- New York State’s Covid-19 testing page also includes a searchable map of testing locations across the five boroughs.
- NYC Health & Hospitals website includes information about walk-in testing, as well as locations that will allow pre-registration.
- Quest Diagnostics and Labcorp both offer testing options.
- A number of pharmacies offer convenient Covid-testing options, including CVS and Walgreens.