The novel coronavirus keeps the world in suspense – and many tourists are unsettled about their upcoming travel plans. In this article, we have put together what you need to know about your New York trip in connection with the virus. It’s officially dubbed SARS-CoV-2 and it’s responsible for the disease, COVID-19.
The most important news
- From March 12th, a 30-day entry ban for Europeans who want to go to the USA applies
- Gatherings of over 500 people are banned in New York State, including Broadway Shows
- Restaurants, bars, and cafés are closed as of 3/17
- Subway service is reduced by 25% as of 3/25
Don’t miss the latest news about the Coronavirus situation in New York
We’ll update this page as much as possible as more details develop. We would be happy to inform you by email so that you can find out immediately if there is any news on the subject.
Coronavirus - reliable information
The global situation regarding the coronavirus is continuously evolving. So that you always stay up to date, we strongly recommend that you also inform yourself on these official pages:
What’s the situation with coronavirus in New York?
The first confirmed corona cases are already in New York. In addition, a large number of suspected cases are under surveillance. However, public life in the metropolis continues:
- all boroughs and neighborhoods remain accessible
- Broadway shows are canceled (as are all events with more than 500 people)
- Restaurants, bars, and cafes are closing as of 3/17
- The NYC Half Marathon was canceled
- The St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been canceled
- NHL, NBA, MLB suspended their seasons
- Tribeca Film Festival is postponed
- American Dream is closed
- Apple Stores are closed
- The High Line is closed
9/11 Memorial Museum
American Museum of Natural History
Empire State Building
Metropolitan Museum of Art - Met
Museum of Modern Art - MoMA
Museum of the City of New York
One World Observatory
Statue of Liberty
Top of the Rock
The “State of Emergency” in New York due to the Coronavirus
State of Emergency was declared on Saturday, March 7th. However, this is mostly due to primarily bureaucratic reasons so federal funds can be made available more quickly in the event of an emergency. The same applies to (medical) supplies. The State of Emergency alone is no reason to be concerned.
Measures to protect yourself against COVID-19 in New York
On your New York trip you can, like of course at home in Germany – drastically minimize your risk of infection if you observe the following points:
- Visit early morning sights and attractions to avoid crowds.
- In addition: Many museums offer private tours outside of the actual opening hours – these are not very cheap, but the exhibitions are of course almost empty.
- Regular and thorough hand washing is essential (20 to 30 seconds, don’t forget the spaces between fingers).
- Even if you wash your hands regularly: don’t touch your face!
- Experts argue about the effectiveness of disinfectants – if you want to be safe, use it. However, it is not a substitute for thorough hand washing!
- There is also disagreement as to whether simple respiratory protection (e.g. a surgical mask) is useful. In any case, it safely protects you from carelessly touching your mouth or nose.
Cancellation of your New York trip due to coronavirus
If you want to cancel your trip, there are a few things to consider. A package tour can be canceled in any case as soon as a travel warning from the Federal Foreign Office has been received. So far, however, this has not been the case. However, the organizers may be accommodating. In any case, contact your travel agency or tour operator.
For hotel-only bookings (e.g. directly through the hotel or through a partner such as booking.com) there are often tariffs that can be canceled shortly before arrival. Check your booking confirmation and contact us in case of doubt. Anyone who booked their flight directly with the airline will contact them.
We are constantly in the process of obtaining current cancellation policies from various airlines and hotels.
Cancellation of booked passes, sights, tours and events through our partners
If you have booked tickets for a service through one of our partners, the following applies:
- Services booked via Get Your Guide can be canceled free of charge up to 24 hours before the start of the service and will be fully reimbursed. For cancellations within 24 hours before the start, you will receive a credit that you can use for your next trip.
- Services booked through Viator can usually be canceled up to 24 hours before the start of the trip. Check your confirmation here too.
- Anyone who has taken out insurance when purchasing the New York Sightseeing Pass can cancel the purchased pass. Since they are also valid for 12 months after purchase, you can also use them for a trip at a later date.
- If you bought the New York Pass directly from the provider, you can not cancel it. However, these passports remain valid for 12 months after purchase. You’re even lucky if you bought the pass through Get Your Guide .
- Tickets booked via Headout are refundable as soon as the booked event is only 30 days away and you are not allowed to enter.
Cancellation of flights to New York
This is our current information on the regulations of the individual airlines:
For airline tickets purchased before March 5 with a travel date up to April 30, 2020, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group will waive the rebooking fees. This is for all newly booked flights worldwide and offers a one-time rebooking regardless of the conditions of the original booking tariffs.
You can rebook to a new travel date until December 31, 2020, without rebooking fees. You have to call the Lufthansa Service Center at regular hours before the planned travel date! This is not possible online.
Prerequisite: same travel destination
More information is available on the Lufthansa website.
KLM offers a free rebooking for all flights booked before March 31 with a travel period from March 4 to May 31, 2020. A rebooking to new travel destinations is also possible!
The rebooking at KLM takes place online or via the KLM social media channels.
More information is available on the KLM website.
TICKET WAIVER FOR FLIGHTS TO FRANCE, GERMANY, ITALY, AND SPAIN
• Singapore Airlines will waive all cancellation and change fees for customers with tickets issued on or before 13 March 2020, for travel to and from France, Germany, Italy, and Spain from March 10, 2020 to May 31, 2020. For rebooked travel, the new travel date must commence on or before 31 August 2020.
More information can be found on the Singapore Airlines website.
NOTE THAT A FREE REBOOKING IS USUALLY ONLY POSSIBLE ONCE!
If you buy a flight ticket between March 4 and March 31, 2020, Air Canada allows you to rebook your flight once up to 14 days before the trip, without incurring a rebooking fee.
For non-refundable first class fares or primary fares booked between February 27 and March 31, 2020, for travel through February 28, 2021, you can make a one-time fee-free rebooking or cancel your trip and receive credit for it.
There will be no change fee for new bookings on any route made from March 3 to March 31, 2020.
No rebooking fees for all airline tickets purchased between March 1 and March 31, 2020, for travel through February 25, 2021.
Passengers who book a flight between March 1 and March 31, 2020, can rebook their trip to a future date without incurring rebooking fees.
No rebooking or cancellation fees for all new flight bookings between February 27, 2020, and March 31, 2020, for travel through September 8, 2020.
There are generally no fees for changes or cancellations to a flight at Southwest Airlines. You will receive a credit if you cancel at least 10 minutes before departure.
If you book a flight between March 3 and March 31, 2020, you can rebook it for free in the next 12 months.
All new flight bookings made between March 5, 2020, and March 31, 2020, will be granted a one-time exemption from the rebooking fee for any travel plan change made more than 14 days prior to departure.
Cancellation of hotels in New York
Booking.com has declared the coronavirus to be a force majeure event. For you this means:
If you have booked your accommodation via Booking.com, it is best to check your booking confirmation first to see whether a free cancellation is generally possible. Maybe you are lucky and can cancel online for free.
If your accommodation does not normally offer free cancellation, Booking.com expects from the accommodation to reimburse any payments already made and to waive any cancellation costs (fees, expenses and/or other amounts) if guests/travelers cancel due to force majeure have inquired.
This also applies to travelers who have been in an area affected by the coronavirus and who were subsequently prohibited from entering the country to which they wanted to travel (e.g. the USA).
Current information can be found on Booking.com.
You will be offered a free rebooking or cancellation option for all trips that are booked with TUI in the period from February 29 to April 18, 2020. If you do not want to or are not allowed to start your trip due to the coronavirus, you can rebook or cancel your booking up to 14 days before departure by April 30th, free of charge.
Does not apply to Travel with XTUI, FLY & Mix and TUI Ticket Shop
More information is available from TUI.
Information for local travelers in New York
If you are in New York and have questions about the coronavirus and restrictions and risks in urban life, you can dial number 311 (information from the city of New York). If the situation worsens during your trip, you may want to contact your embassy.
Questions about the coronavirus in New York
How long is the entry ban for Europeans in the USA?
The entry ban is currently valid for 30 days from March 12, 2020. We will keep you up to date with changes here and in the newsletter.
My flight has been canceled – will I get my money back?
If your flight has been canceled, you will usually get the ticket price back. However, if you want to cancel a flight yourself out of fear of being infected, the consumer center only entitles you to a refund if you receive a travel warning for your travel destination. Many airlines are currently making free cancellations or rebooking possible. Information is given by the respective airline, current information can be found above.
What happens to flights that have already been paid for during the entry ban to the USA?
Most flights can be rebooked for a later period free of charge. Whether you are entitled to a full refund depends on your tickets and the airline – so contact their customer service immediately.
You can find more information on this earlier in this article.
I am unsure if we should start our journey – where is the advice?
We understand that you are concerned about your travel plans. You’ve been looking forward to a booked trip for a long time and then everything is suddenly uncertain. Before you act hastily, we would like to recommend that you first check your bookings and their cancellation policy and then wait as long as possible. You can cancel many sights, tours and passes up to 1 day in advance or even use them in a year. If your trip is not yet planned for the next 30 days, you can take your time and wait for the situation to develop.
If you have further questions or helpful information about coronavirus in New York, you can also write a comment here.
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