NYC - The Official Guide

NYC: What to Know Now

Below, find updates and current information about developments around the five boroughs.

On October 6, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced a cluster action initiative to help stop further spread of the coronavirus in Brooklyn and Queens. The plan divides affected areas into red, orange and yellow zones, each of which corresponds to new restrictions on schools and business activities. For a list of these restrictions, see below:

Red Zone — Cluster Itself
Houses of worship: 25% capacity, 10 people maximum
• Mass gatherings: Prohibited
• Businesses: only essential businesses open
• Dining: takeout only
• Schools: closed, remote only

Orange Zone — Warning Zone
• Houses of worship: 33% capacity, 25 people maximum
• Mass gatherings: 10 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
• Businesses: closing high-risk non-essential businesses, such as gyms and personal care
• Dining: outdoor dining only, 4 person maximum per table
• Schools: closed, remote only

Yellow Zone — Precautionary Zone
• Houses of worship: 50% capacity
• Mass gatherings: 25 people maximum, indoor and outdoor
• Businesses: open
• Dining: indoor and outdoor dining are allowed, 4 person maximum per table
• Schools: open, with mandatory weekly testing of students and teachers/staff for in-person settings

View maps of the affected areas here. For more information, visit

New York State has implemented a 14-day quarantine on anyone arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average, or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average. The requirements of the travel advisory do not apply to anyone passing through designated states for a limited duration (that is, less than 24 hours) during the course of travel. Examples include: stopping at rest stops for vehicles, buses and/or trains; or layovers for air travel, bus travel or train travel. Note too that, due to their interconnectedness with the state, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut will not fall on this quarantine list, but on October 20, the Governor discouraged nonessential travel to and from these neighboring states due to their increased infection rates. The travel advisory requires all New Yorkers, as well as those visiting from out of state, to take personal responsibility for complying with the advisory in the best interest of public health and safety. All out-of-state travelers from designated states must complete the State Department of Health traveler form upon entering New York. The City and Sheriff's Office have implemented checkpoints at various points of arrival into the City to remind travelers and ensure compliance. The Mayor has ordered that hotels and short-term rentals require guests from restricted states to fill out a traveler health form before beginning their stay. For more information, visit

The quarantine and form requirements also apply to international travelers coming from countries or territories categorized as moderate to high risk. On September 28, the Governor issued an executive order reiterating these obligations. 

New York City has entered Phase 4 of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York Forward plan, reintroducing low-risk outdoor activities like botanical gardens and zoos with capacity restrictions, movie and television production, and professional sports without audiences. Museums and cultural institutions were allowed to open, with restrictions, as of August 24. Gyms (with capacity restrictions) had state permission to reopen on that date, but the Mayor delayed that date until September 2; bowling alleys—with every other lane closed and no indoor food and beverage service—were able to resume operations the week of August 17. Restaurants  were allowed to resume indoor service, at 25 percent capacity, beginning September 30; there will be a review no later than November 1 to determine whether that capacity can increase to 50 percent. Certain other attractions, venues and indoor activities will reopen at a to-be-determined later date.

The Mayor has announced that the current outdoor dining program will be made permanent, meaning restaurants will be able to take advantage of closed streets and sidewalk space where available to keep outdoor dining going year-round.

The Broadway League announced that Broadway performances will be suspended through the end of 2020.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced a 13-point plan to help the City safely reopen. Most service will be restored to regular levels, though subway service remains suspended nightly from 1am to 5am to disinfect trains and stations.

Governor Cuomo has ordered New York State residents to wear face coverings in public. This aligns with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s guidance recommending that New Yorkers wear face coverings when leaving their homes.

To facilitate social distancing in the City, the Mayor has announced 67 miles of street-traffic closures, sidewalk widening and additional bike lanes, with the goal of expanding to 100 miles in order to increase public space and serve the hardest-hit communities.

The Mayor has also canceled all large events requiring a City permit through September 30, in order to preserve open public space and maintain social distancing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers guidance for what to do if you become sick, and when you can be around others after you had or likely had the coronavirus.