New York Flight during COVID-19

New York Flight during COVID 19

A New York flight during COVID-19 is different from what you’re used to. Corona tests, face masks; all kinds of new things to keep in mind when you go to New York now. I’ll explain step by step which rules apply when you fly to New York and what you should take into account if you want to travel to New York during the corona pandemic.

Currently, there is negative travel advice for the United States and a travel ban to New York from European countries. Travelling to New York is only possible in specific situations.

COVID-19 test before departure

Before boarding the plane, you must possess a negative corona test. This must be taken within 72 hours of arrival in New York. If allowed, it’s useful to use a rapid test, so that you have the test results quickly. Always check with your airline whether a rapid test is valid. You’re not always asked to actually show the test result but you must still possess a negative test.

Flight and Arrival in New York

Most airlines have strict guidelines during the flight. For example, on many flights, some of the seats are unoccupied and it’s mandatory to wear a face mask throughout the flight. This may only be taken off if you would like to eat or drink something. The aircraft are also cleaned more often and more thoroughly. The arrival at JFK or Newark Airport is not incredibly different from what you’re used to. At the airports, it’s mandatory to wear a mouth mask, which can only be removed if you have to identify yourself with Immigration. As of June 25th you no longer need to fill in the New York State Traveler Health Form, and all other procedures at immigration and customs are the same as always.

Quarantine upon Arrival

As of April 10th 2021, you’re no longer required to go into quarantine upon arrival in New York if you’re asymptomatic. Quarantine is still recommended for all travellers who are not fully vaccinated or have not recovered from COVID-19 during the previous 3 months. Taking a corona test on the fourth day is not required anymore either. Despite the coronavirus in New York, many attractions are open.

COVID-19 test in New York

If you need do to a corona test in New York, there are dozens of places you can get tested for free. I have been to a few CityMD locations for corona tests, which can be found all over the city. Keep in mind that many test locations have long lines from early in the morning. Make sure you are there at least 30 minutes before the opening of the store when the queue is usually still short. Everyone in line wears a face mask and adheres to the distance rule. Once inside you’ll be asked for your ID, but it’s no problem if it’s not a US ID. You may also be asked for an insurance card, but since the test is free of charge anyway, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have one, testing at CityMD turned out to be pretty ok for me. The test was actually very extensive, even my temperature and blood pressure were tested. I had to answer some simple questions and five minutes later I was outside again. Then after half an hour, I received an email with the result of the test.

Back in the UK

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details in a passenger locator form. When you’re travelling back to the UK, it’s mandatory to quarantine for another 10 days. Different rules apply in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Therefore, follow all the rules that apply to you.

Eric’s Tip: I flew back and forth myself and my experience was that I was checked more strictly on arrival in New York than in the UK. I was kept very well informed by the airline on both the outward and return journeys about the rules in force at the time. When you’re going to fly always check with your airline for the most current rules and guidelines, both on the outward and return journey.
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