New York City Travel Advice

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New York City Travel Advice

Security travel advice for New York City

Security information

Threat level: Medium-High

New York state is one of the most affected US states by the coronavirus, so to limit the risk of contamination, self-isolate, avoid public gathering and apply good hygiene practices. To contain the spread of the virus, the US has declared national emergency and has suspended travel from the 26 European countries of the Schengen border-free travel area including the United Kingdom and Ireland for a period of 30 days.

The current travel advice in New York is to remain vigilant throughout your stay.

New York City is one of the busiest hubs of activity in the world with a plethora of galleries, restaurants, theatres, bars and more in a city that is alive 24/7. Almost all travellers to New York immerse themselves in the culture and cuisine of the city and face few issues.

New York is considered the safest large city in the US but it is advised that you follow normal security precautions including safety of personal items and exercise vigilance when travelling the city.

Intelligent Protection International Limited provides Executive Protection services in New York. If you are interested in these services, please visit: Executive Protection New York.

COVID-19 Updates

There are reported cases of the coronavirus in the USA, with the states of California, Texas and Florida being the most affected.

To contain the spread of the virus, the US has declared national emergency. Travel from European countries of the Schengen border-free travel area including the UK and Ireland is banned and some states have imposed a 14-day quarantine for travels from other states or to present a negative COVID-19 test result.

Starting on the 26th of January, all airline passengers travelling to the United States, aged two years or older, must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test, taken within three calendar days of travel or when testing positive, documentation providing evidence of recovery from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel, issued by a healthcare provider or public health official. Travellers must also attest to having received a negative test result or having recovered from COVID-19 with medical clearance by completing the CDC disclosure and attestation to the United States of America.

However, additional measures may vary from one state to another including on the mandatory use of face masks in public places. Some states started reopening certain industries between May and June but new outbreaks in the summer have caused certain states to reinstate some of the restrictions on public venues or pause plans to reopen further. In New York, catering facilities providing indoor dining and entertainment venues have been closed. A statewide order has made compulsory the use of face masks in public when outside of the home.

See our healthcare section for details about the precautions to take to avoid contracting the disease.

Recent Security Risk Events
Breaking: On the morning of Monday the 11th of December 2017 a device exploded in the Subway near the Port Authority in New York. New York Police stated in a Tweet: "NYPD is responding to reports of an explosion of unknown origin at 42nd Street and 8th Ave, #Manhattan. The A, C and E line are being evacuated at this time. Info is preliminary, more when available." It is understood that two people are in custody (one named by Police as Akayed Ullah, 27, from Brooklyn), and that one may have been carrying a device that could have been a pipe bomb, which exploded. Four people were injured.

On the 31st of October 2017, a truck drove into people on a cycleway in Lower Manhattan, killing 8 people and injuring 11 others. The suspect was shot by the police when he exited the truck and then placed under arrest.

18 September 2016 Bombing in Chelsea neighborhood, New York. There has been one explosion and least 29 people injured and a second Improvised Explosive Device found close by. This follows the (failed) pipe bombing of a military fun-run in New Jersey earlier in the day (17/09/16).

The second device placed a few blocks away failed to detonate and is being examined. Investigations are underway and Police urge residents to be vigilant. Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in the New York-New Jersey bomb plot, has now been charged with five counts of attempted murder.

2001 saw one of the world’s most devastating terrorist attacks hit New York, leading to the city’s famous World Trade Centre twin towers collapsing. Other smaller attacks occurred round the country leaving nearly 3000 civilians dead and thousands more injured.

It is believed that the attack is linked with the international Islamist extremist network, Al Qaeda and resulted in the country invading Afghanistan in an attempt to find the perpetrators.

Security Risks
As with the rest of the country, the drinking age in New Yok is 21 and rules and regulations surrounding this are strictly enforced. You should not try and enter a club/bar or purchase alcohol if you are underage as it is punishable with heavy fines and other sanctions. Do not attempt to buy alcohol for underage drinkers as this is heavily punishable.

Smoking in all public spaces across the city is prohibited including social areas like bars and restaurants and public transport such as subways and taxis. Be respectful of this and do not attempt to smoke in any public area.

As with all busy cities and tourist destinations, travellers are advised to remain wary of petty crime including pick pockets that operate in busy areas. When travelling on public transport, ensure that your personal belongings are kept close at all times and be alert to others around you.

Be wary when travelling on the subway at night time, particularly after midnight. Although not common, travellers can run into some trouble during their journey. Solo travellers are advised to ride in the front carriage if necessary as this is closest to the conductor.

Travelling around Travel around New York City

New York’s travel network is one of the largest and most extensive systems in the world, with a large selection of modes of transport to match your specific needs.

The public transport system operates throughout the day and night and includes buses, subways and commuter trains. The most frequent services are present in downtown Manhattan. Public buses, although not as fast as the subway, gives you the opportunity to view the sites of the city as you travel. During rush hour in both morning and evening, public transport can get extremely busy, particularly the subway.

The subway is the fastest method of transport and will take you to almost anywhere you need to go in the city. Stations are highlighted by an illuminated Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) logo or globe-shape green or red lights.

Taxi cabs are a popular method of transport, with taxis characterised by their famous yellow bodies. Like the metro*, taxis operate 24 hours a day and with over 13,000 in operation across the city, hailing one for use should not be difficult. You can pay for your journey with either cash or card.

New York has adapted to allow bike users more presence on the roads, making it one of the most cyclist-friendly cities to travel in. Bike lanes in the streets makes cycling between destinations safe and easy. Walking tours frequently run but you should ensure you are only using an official guide.

Commercial Travel Risk Services

Intelligent Protection International Limited provides companies and organisations with Commercial Travel Risk Services designed to mitigate risks of staff when they travel for business. If you are interested in these services, please see: Commercial Travel Risk Services.

Emergency Services in New York

Emergency services: 911
Note: Emergency services in New York City include Police, Medical and Fire services.

New York Overview

Official languages: English
Religion: Christianity
Currency: US Dollar
Time now in New York City:

Consular information for New York

British Consulate General New York

845 Third Avenue
New York
NY 10022
Telephone: +1 212 745 0200

Consulate General of Canada in New York

1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York
NY 10020-1175
Telephone: +1 212 596 1628

Consulate General of France in New York

934 Fifth Avenue
New York
NY 10021
Telephone: +1 212 606 3600

Consulate General of Italy

690 Park Avenue
New York
NY 10065
Telephone: +1 212 737 9100

Consulate General of Spain in New York

150 East 58th Street
New York
NY 10155
Telephone: +1 212 355 40 80

For further embassy information and locations please see our live travel map below.

Healthcare in New York City

Just like the rest of the country, visitors to New York will need to ensure that they have adequate medical and travel insurance. The healthcare facilities in New York are an exceptional quality and patients can expect the best care possible.

Ambulance rides can prove extremely expensive so should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. Check that your travel insurance will cover you for all medical requirements throughout your stay as treatment if you are uninsured can prove extremely costly. If you require non-emergency treatment, you may need to provide evidence of insurance before an examination will occur.

There are 24 hour pharmacies in the city for any medical needs; you can purchase over the counter medication at any time. The chain pharmacy Duane Reade offers a walk in medical care centre in many areas of Manhattan where hospital-affiliated doctors can provide advice and some treatment.

Useful websites

Medical care: Walk in medical care centres in Manhattan
General information: New York City tourist information
NYPD: Police service

Our office in New York

Intelligent Protection International Limited has an office in New York and provides Executive Protection Bodyguards in New York, across America and worldwide. For informaton on our services in New York, see: Bodyguards New York.

Intelligent Protection International Limited - New York
14 Wall Street, 20th Floor, Manhattan
New York
United States of America
Tel: +1-212-461-1950


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      You are responsible for your own safety abroad and for making the decision to travel.

      The information contained in this Travel Advice for New York is provided for information only. Whilst care is taken to ensure that this country brief is as up-to-date and accurate as possible, it is provided on an "as is" basis without any representation or endorsement made and without warranty of any kind, express or implied. Intelligent Protection International Limited does not assume responsibility and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.