New York to Lift COVID Restrictions: NYC Tourism Update

This week's breaking news is the Governor's announcement that when New York reaches 70% adult vaccination most COVID restrictions will be lifted. In as little as two weeks we could be done with capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning requirements, health screenings, and contact tracing. The vaccine requirement is only one shot (for Moderna and Pfizer that means the first of two; the Johnson & Johnson works on a single dosage). According to the latest numbers on the state's vaccine tracker, 66.6% of adult New Yorkers have gotten at least one shot, so we are just a few percentage points away from being past this stage of the pandemic. The city is changing so quickly already but this will accelerate it. Further evidence includes:

It's also worth noting that the vaccines are working: the state is reporting record low COVID positivity rates (as half a percent of the people being tested). The city is considered to have "functional immunity" from the disease at this point. The mayor has announced a celebration of the city's return with a "Homecoming Week" in August. The crown jewel will be a Central Park concert, with Clive Davis helping wrangle the talent. Expect serious all stars with New York connections. Think that won't drive some tourism to the city?

leaf meatpacking floral heart

L.E.A.F, a new annual festival of flowers, takes place Saturday and Sunday in the Meatpacking. There will be a European-style flower market, floral installations, and retail and hospitality activations across the neighborhood. Photo: Kevin Alexander, @kevinalexanderphoto for LEAF.






butterbeer harry pottter new york bar

Looking for on-the-round reporting about the city? Everything To Do NYC Facebook Group brings together 32,000 city superfans sharing what they're experiencing around town. This week we got a lot of intel on the Harry Potter store opening, including the several hours' wait time—and the virtual ticketing system that allows you to experience that wait somewhere besides a hot sidewalk. There was also a nice snapshot of the store's pricing and options for gifts. Other news items included some interesting back and forth over the merits of the city's newest park, Little Island. If you're not yet a member, join us—make sure your venue is getting the respect it deserves in comments.


Every passing day there's more to do—safely—in the city. Stay in the loop with:

  • The week’s best activities delivered to your email box with our free newsletter
  • Or find out web version, This Week in the City
  • Everything to Do NYC Facebook Group, which has real-time tips and advice from New York City experts
  • The city's latest openings and happenings on City Guide's Instagram and Facebook
  • Activities geared to parents and families on our sister site
  • The only site dedicated to the city's talks, lectures, and smart culture: Thought Gallery
  • Keep up with the latest tourism news for NYC. Find our archive of weekly articles here. Join the NYC Tourism Industry Professionals (NYC TIP) Facebook Group here.

About the Author

Ethan Wolff is the author of numerous guidebooks to New York, having covered the city for more than two decades. He has written for New York Magazine, BlackBook, and Details, among others. In addition to his work as the editor of City Guide, Ethan covers NYC’s talk and lecture scene for the website Thought Gallery. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood of Brooklyn.

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