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New York and California Reopening For Tourism: What Travelers Need To Know

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Travel is most certainly back on the menu and, whilst the international options offered to Americans may be taking all the headlines, it should not go unnoticed that there’s movement of the domestic travel front, too.

Both California and New York – two of the country’s most popular destinations for both international and domestic tourists – are easing their restrictions and reopening to the masses ahead of what is bound to be a summer like no other. Here’s what you should know if you’re thinking about traveling to the Big Apple or the Golden State soon.

New York and California Reopening – What Travelers Should Know

New York’s Restrictions Eased – Information For Travelers

New York was once counted amongst the states most badly affected by Covid-19, registering a daily case record in excess of 20,000. The state first went into lockdown during the first wave, in March 2020, and restrictions have been in place in some way or another ever since. However, last week the state set about repealing the lingering restrictions.

new york skyline

On June 15th, New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo announced that 70% of the state’s adult population had received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. As a result of reaching that milestone, Covid-19 restrictions in the state were immediately lifted. Guidelines such as social distancing, capacity reduction and health screen became optional for retail, food services, offices, gyms and fitness centers, though they remain in place for indoor venues that hold more than 5,000 attendees.

new york ice cream

Speaking about the move, Cuomo said: “We're no longer just surviving—we're thriving. The state mandates that have proven right and brought us through this pandemic are relaxed as of today, effective immediately.”

broadway times square theatre

Asymptomatic travelers entering New York from another state or country are not required to test or quarantine, though New York officials still recommend quarantine for all travelers who are not fully vaccinated, as well as testing three to five days after arriving. The Traveler Health Form must still be completed upon entering New York for all but those from contiguous states.

manhattan skyline

California Eases Restrictions – What Travelers Should Know

New York wasn’t the only state to ease its restrictions on the 15th, with California also taking steps towards freedom on the same day. The first US state to be locked down, California also boasts the unfortunate record of having the most cases out of any of the states – though those two facts serve to show just how much the situation has improved in the state throughout the past few months.

In a similar situation to New York, California too reached the impressive milestone of giving a dose of the vaccine to more than 70% of its population, which led to the restrictions being repealed. Social distancing requirements have been lifted, whilst restrictions will only remain for indoor events with 5,000 people or more, and recommended for outdoor events with more than 10,000 attendees.                      

travelers at Golden Gate bridge, San Francisco

The state has also brought its mask-wearing policies into line with the recommendations of the CDC – vaccinated people will not need to wear a face mask, whereas those who are unvaccinated will still need to wear a face-covering in public indoor settings. California is also following CDC guidance when it comes to visitors to the state, issuing issued a travel advisory that recommends testing and self-quarantine for unvaccinated visitors from out of state and residents returning to the state, whilst vaccinated travelers may come and go freely. Reservations are required in advance for those wanting to visit Disneyland or Yosemite National Park.

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