Usually at this time of year, most of us are starting to see a spectacular stream of pics, vids and check-ins fill up our Insta-feed courtesy of our friends spending their summer living it up in the big city. And for some of us (y’know - the lucky ones!), we might be in the middle of planning our trip to the big city and drafting that first check-in at the Top of the Rock with an #epicview, or kicking-off cocktail hour a little early from that cool rooftop bar we’ve just discovered just the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge. Well, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere in the world, right? ??
But we know that 2020 isn’t a usual year and these aren’t usual circumstances. To the extent that you might be thinking that NYC has shut up shop...but you’d be wrong!
You see, while some of the city’s hotspots are closed and large events and gatherings are currently cancelled, even COVID-19 can’t shut down NYC entirely, so trust us when we say that the Big Apple is still very much open for business.
But we get that you want to make sure you’re being safe too, so we wanted to bring you the top 5 NYC COVID-safe things to do to make sure that you still get to live that big city life!
Take a trip to the Top of the Rock
Top of the Rock is? a must-see for any NYC visitors. Even if you’ve been here 100 times before, the view from the Rockefeller Center’s observation deck is the ultimate way to start or finish your visit.?
With 360 views of the whole city, it’s also the ideal spot to plan your day, from shopping in midtown, eating in the Bowery and evening entertainment in the East Village, you’ll be able to see it all mapped out from this unbeatable viewpoint.?
Under New York COVID guidelines, Top of the Rock is open 1-9pm daily and they’ve implemented a new set of safety and cleaning procedures to keep you safe on your visit:
- Temperature screenings for all guests upon entry
- Implementing contactless check-in procedures
- Limiting each elevator to max 4 people or a single party
- Enhancing cleaning and disinfecting protocols throughout?
- Installing touchless hand sanitiser dispensers?
- Designated entrances and exits: guests can only enter at the south side of 50th Street between 5th and 6th avenues
Walk The High Line
If NYC is the Urban Jungle, then the High Line is definitely the jungle element. And while it’s operating at a reduced capacity to adhere to the current NYC COVID guidelines, it’s still a highlight for locals and visitors alike.?
We’ve listed the updated safety measures for you to see below, but while the route might have changed slightly, the High Line still gives guests unparalleled views of Chelsea and the famous Meatpacking District. And the takeaway eateries that line the green walkway are still some of the best in the city!?
In terms of what’s changed in-line with the latest New York COVID guidance, guests are asked to follow the below safety measures:
- Book a free, timed-entry pass prior to your visit. All free passes are issued on a first come, first served basis
- Enter only at Gansevoort Street (via elevator and stairs); all other access points are exit-only
- All visitors must wear a face mask?
- Visitors are required to maintain 6-foot distance between each person not in the same household
- Movement through the High Line is one way only, so visitors are required to walk north after entering the park
Experience the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is such an iconic part of NYC’s identity, that NYC couldn’t really open without it! Luckily, it didn’t have to, because the world’s most famous building is now open for bookings!?
Following New York Coronavirus guidelines, access to the Empire State is only available through pre-booked appointments. The building has also rolled out a series of new measures to ensure guests and staff are comfortable and safe during their visit, such as:
- The wearing of face masks is compulsory?
- Temperature check for all guests on entry
- Observation of 2 metre social distancing
- Capacity reduction to an average group size 2.5?
- One-way traffic flow throughout the building
NYC Sightseeing Cruise: Lady Liberty
Along with Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty completes the triumvirate of iconic New York experiences. And while the Statue itself and Ellis Island remain temporarily closed, Statue Cruises is up and running from New York Harbour!
Offering rich history and spectacular ‘grams (ahem, I mean ‘memories’), tours can now be booked, and to make sure you don’t miss out on the day, it’s best to book in advance.?
And again, to make sure that your comfort and safety comes first, the crew have implemented a series of safety measures designed to control NYC COVID cases:
- Guests will undergo temperature screening prior to boarding
- All guests ages 3 and older are required to wear face coverings
- All guests ages 3 and older must wear face masks on board when moving around the vessel. Masks should be worn whenever away from the table
- Guests may remove masks once seated
- All guests must practice social distancing on board, staying at least 6 feet (about 2 arm’s lengths) from other guests who are not in their party.
Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO Neighborhood Tour?
When it comes to exploring NYC, the best way to do it is still from street level. So this guided walking tour is a fantastic way of getting under the skin of two of the city’s most famous neighbourhoods.
Let your guide show you across the famous Brooklyn Bridge and tell you captivating stories about its construction along the way. Enjoy unparalleled views of Manhattan's skyline before you head in to explore the trendy DUMBO neighbourhood, which is renowned for its art galleries and cool shopping options.
And aside from the late summer weather (enjoy the heat while it lasts!), being outside is another benefit as it makes it easier to maintain social distance while still getting to experience all of what the city has to offer.