Several major cities across the US are puting testing requirements or vaccination mandates into place. The addition of such requirements is set to make traveling across the US for Christmas and the New Year a more difficult proposition for thousands of Americans, who will need to make sure they research the current restrictions for their destinations in order to avoid frustrating and holiday-ruining disruptions to their festive travel plans.
Whilst popular travel hotspots such as New York City have had such restrictions in place for a while now, a host of other popular destinations have now gotten in on the act in recent days – including Washington DC, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. Here’s a closer look at the new and existing testing and vaccination requirements in some of the most popular domestic locations in the United States.
US Cities Latest Restrictions – Information For Travelers
New York City, as well as being the most populous city in the US, is also the most visited city in the country. This certainly rings true in December, when domestic tourists flock to see its Christmas decorations, partake in Christmas shopping or celebrate the New Year on its streets. The city has long had restrictions in place to protect against Covid-19, and travelers should be aware that restrictions are set to get even stricter in the coming days.
At present, indoor seating at places like restaurants and movie theatres is only available for those who have had at least one vaccine shot – including for children aged 5 to 12. However, from December 27th, “people 12 and older participating in public indoor activities will be required to show proof they have received two vaccine doses, except for those who have received the one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” a change that could force many travelers to rethink their plans.
Washington DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Wednesday, December 21st that proof of at least one dose of vaccination for entry to restaurants, gyms and other venues would be required for people above the age of 12 from January 15th. This requirement is set to expand to proof of two doses from February 15th. The requirements and dates are also the same for Boston, whilst New Orleans will be allowing one dose of vaccination or a negative test result.
Chicago is taking a stricter approach. It was announced on Tuesday that the city would be requiring proof of full vaccination for entry to establishments that serve food and drink from January 3rd, with no option for patrons to test negative instead. The rule will apply to anyone above the age of 6, with exemptions in place for grocery stores, schools, places of worship, office buildings and residential buildings. Those wishing to eat or drink indoors in Los Angeles must also be fully vaccinated.
Philadelphia will also be requiring proof of full vaccination in order to enter establishments such as restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. From January 3rd, proof of a negative test will be accepted alongside proof of full vaccination, however this will change solely to full vaccination from January 18th. San Francisco also requires proof of full vaccination in order to enter bars, restaurants, gyms and other indoor venues for those above the age of 12.
The CDC still recommends that travelers delay their plans until they are fully vaccinated, and reminds travelers that mask wearing is required on forms of transport and transportation hubs. Travelers should also ensure that they carefully check the restrictions and requirements for their destinations as changes can be implemented at any time.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories