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.
Governor Hochul announced in December 2021 that masks must be worn in all indoor public places in New York unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement. For more information, visit ny.gov. In addition, testing protocols for incoming international travelers have been tightened. See the “International Travel” section below for details.
Also in December, 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. Those who work remotely will not be required to get the vaccine.
In addition, changes were made to the Key to NYC initiative. Centering on the idea that Covid-19 vaccination is the “key” to safely enjoying the five boroughs in full and supporting the local economy, the plan requires proof of full vaccination for all workers and individuals in:
- Indoor dining spaces
- Indoor fitness facilities
- Indoor entertainment and performing arts venues
New Yorkers and visitors age 12 and older are required to show proof of vaccination to participate in indoor activities at New York City restaurants and bars, fitness gyms, and entertainment and recreational settings including movie theaters, music or concert venues, casinos, botanical gardens, commercial event and party venues, museums and galleries, aquariums, zoos, professional sports arenas and indoor stadiums, convention centers and exhibition halls, performing arts theaters, bowling alleys, arcades, indoor play areas, pool and billiard halls, and other recreational games. Proof of vaccination is also required for employees at these establishments.
Those 12 and older must present proof of two vaccine doses, except for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Children ages 5–11 must show proof of one vaccination dose to enter those venues. Beginning January 28, they must show proof of two vaccinations.
Children under 5 who have not had the vaccine are required to wear a mask and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. They are not required to be vaccinated for indoor dining, fitness or entertainment at this time.
Eligible proof of vaccination includes the NYC COVID Safe App, the New York State Excelsior App, a photo or hard copy of a CDC vaccination card, official vaccine record, or a photo or hard copy of an official vaccination record of a vaccine administered outside the United States for one of the following vaccines: AstraZeneca/SK Bioscience, Serum Institute of India/COVISHIELD and Vaxzevria, Sinopharm, Sinovac or Covaxin.
Enforcement by the City began last September. Penalties for failure to comply start at $1,000 and can reach $5,000 for repeated violations. NYC & Company continues to work with the City to assist businesses with information and tools to implement the requirements. Frequently asked questions are available in the Key to NYC FAQ.
Officials at the Centers for Disease Control now recommend that everyone 18 and older get a booster shot five months after receiving a two-course dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and two months after receiving a single dose of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine. For more information, visit cdc.gov.
Governor Hochul announced late in 2021 that masks must be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement. This measure remains in effect. In addition, the New York City Department of Health recommends that everyone, including those who have been vaccinated or previously infected, wear masks indoors and at crowded outdoor settings.
Though some Broadway shows have canceled performances or ended runs early, most are ongoing. 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.
Broadway theaters in New York City announced that they will require vaccinations for audience members, as well as performers, backstage crew and staff, for all performances through April 2022. Any FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine applies. For international travelers, mixed doses, meaning a combination of an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccines, are acceptable. Masks are also required for audiences inside theaters, except while eating or drinking in designated locations.
Children ages 5–11, when accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult, may enter the theater as long as they can produce the following:
• Proof of at least one dose of FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine at least 14 days before the performance date
• Beginning January 29, children ages 5–11 will require proof of full vaccination
Children under 5, when accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult, may enter the theater as long as they can produce one of the following:
• A negative Covid-19 PCR test performed by a medical provider within 72 hours of the performance start time
• A negative Covid-19 rapid antigen test taken within six hours of the performance start time
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 2022, those traveling across land borders or arriving by port also need to provide proof of 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.
New York State Guidance
At the state level, most coronavirus restrictions were lifted on June 15, 2021, though the government has reimplemented masking requirements for indoor businesses unless the business has a vaccination requirement in place.
Other restrictions remain in effect for large-scale indoor event venues (more than 5,000 attendees), such as attendees needing to show vaccination status or negative test results. Proof of full vaccination status can be provided through paper form, digital application or the New York State Excelsior Pass. Unvaccinated or unknown-vaccination-status individuals who are over the age of 4 must present proof of a recent negative diagnostic Covid-19 test result. All attendees must wear a mask.
For more information, visit ny.gov.