NYC Lifts Vaccine Mandate for Restaurants, Bars — What to Know

"We are open for business and New York City has its groove back," New York City Mayor Eric Adams said.

A sign is viewed at a restaurant in New York's Upper West Side where you have to show proof of having a Covid-19 vaccination to participate in indoor dining
Photo: Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images

New York City lifted its vaccine mandate for bars, restaurants, and other indoor spaces on Monday, according to the city's mayor, but the jab will still be required for certain tourist attractions.

Under the new rules, businesses like restaurants and entertainment venues will no longer be required to check guests for proof of vaccination to enter, but individual businesses will be allowed to implement their own vaccination or masking rules. The city first put its vaccine requirement for indoor venues into effect in September 2021, calling the initiative "A Key to NYC."

"Two years ago, New York City was the epicenter of the pandemic, but thanks to New Yorkers getting vaccinated and getting boosted we have made tremendous progress," the city's Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement. "I've said time and time again that the numbers and science will guide us as we continue to recover and rebuild, and now New York City is back, and vaccinations are why we're back… The fight may not be over, but we're clearly winning the war. We are open for business and New York City has its groove back."

While vaccine mandates for guests were lifted on Monday, other pandemic-related rules, including the requirement that employees be vaccinated, would still remain, according to Adams' office.

Additionally, not all popular tourist venues would be lifting their vaccine mandates. Broadway, for example, will still require both proof of full vaccination and masks for all performances through at least April 30, according to The Broadway League.

And The Metropolitan Opera requires all performers, employees, and audience members to show proof of a COVID-19 booster shot.

Masks will also be required on city subways and buses, in line with the federal transportation mask mandate that has been extended until at least March 18.

New York City's decision to lift its vaccine mandate comes as other cities have made similar moves to ease pandemic-era protocols, including the Hawaiian islands of Maui and Honolulu, which each dropped their vaccine or test requirements for restaurants and bars, as well as Los Angeles, which stopped requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter places like bars and wineries.

However, San Francisco, which first implemented its mandate in August 2021, still requires proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter bars, restaurants, clubs, and more, according to the city.

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.

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