New York City Tourists Can Now Get Vaccinated in Popular Spots Like Times Square
New York will start vaccinating visitors to the city in popular tourist spots like Times Square and the High Line in an effort to boost both tourism as well as overall vaccine numbers, the city's mayor announced.
The plan, approved by the state's Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is allowed after the state updated its eligibility guidance to include anyone 16 years old or older who lives in the United States. Previously, it was limited to people who lived or worked in New York.
The vaccine effort will provide U.S. tourists with one-dose Johnson & Johnson shots at mobile vaccination hubs. In addition to spots like Times Square, the shots will be set up at other popular areas like Brooklyn Bridge Park and Central Park.
All New York State mass vaccination sites and most city sites are open for walk-ins and don't require an appointment.
"This summer, you're going to see tourism come alive again in New York City, you're going to see a lot of jobs come back because of it. We want to go the extra mile, make it easy for tourists," Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a news conference on Thursday. "If they're here, get vaccinated while you're here. It makes sense to put mobile vaccination sites where the tourists are."
New York isn't the first destination to offer vaccines to tourists. Next month, Alaska plans to offer the jab to visitors who pass through the state's airports. Alaska's airport vaccination centers will offer the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.
Additionally, the Maldives has said it plans to vaccinate visitors upon arrival to help it meet its tourism goals.
And some people are traveling far and wide to get their shot. In fact, some travel agencies in Thailand have started selling "vaccine tours" to the United States.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.