*Last updated on: 25 May 2021
COVID-19 Safety Measures at New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
The new COVID-19 safety measures at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) are making it easy to stay safe and feel secure amidst the global pandemic. While the COVID-19 crisis continues around the world, safety rules and strategies such as these make us feel calmer and enable the protection of people traveling between different countries. Observing the appropriate rules and regulations keeps things streamlined while traveling. Here is what to expect when you land at JFK International Airport.
What airport measures are currently in place for travellers upon arrival?
As of April 2021, asymptomatic travelers entering New York from another country or U.S. state are no longer required to test or quarantine. However, travelers who are not fully vaccinated or have not recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months are still recommended to quarantine (7 days if tested on day 3-5, otherwise 10 days).
Symptomatic travelers must immediately self-isolate and get in touch with their local health department or healthcare provider to get advice on COVID-19 testing. All travelers have to complete a traveller Health Form, unless the traveler has been outside of New York for less than 24 hours or is coming back to New York from a contiguous state (i.e., Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont).
International travel bans remain in place, including flights from Europe, Brazil, Canada and Mexico to the United States, with some exceptions. These decisions are subject to change and reliant upon decisions made by the CDC and US Customs and Border Protection.
What airport measures are currently in place for travellers departing?
US citizens are advised to avoid international travel at this time and have been banned from entering countries in the European Union, United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico. Passengers traveling to selected locations must maintain a social distance of six feet (two meters) wherever possible, while at the departure terminal and wear a face mask at the terminals. You will be requested to adjust your mask for ID verification or if it alarms the security equipment. An officer will offer a mask if you need to be detained or patted down at the airport. Passengers should arrive in good time to check bags, complete screening and get to the departure gate, as COVID-19 protocols have altered operations - potentially causing a slight delay to travel procedures.
Are there any screening or PCR testing facilities available?
COVID-19 testing services are available at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in collaboration with Adams Health Services for arrival and departure. The Test Center is located in Terminal 1 on the departures level at Row H area. Passengers will need an appointment to get a RT - PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Test) or Blood Antibody test. Your health insurance provider may offer to cover the cost of testing, but this must be checked prior to taking the test.
What are the rules around social distancing and face masks?
Social distancing measures are mandatory and information signage is highly visible at the airport. Social distancing signage throughout the terminal indicates that passengers must observe a social distance of six feet (two meters). Passengers are requested to wear a mask at all times during travel - including at arrival or departure terminals and during the flights. Passengers not wearing a mask will be offered one by an officer. However, kids aged 2 and under are exempt from this rule.
What is the current protocol around cleanliness?
The frequency of cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting in all areas of the terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) has been increased in response to COVID-19. About 40 hand sanitizing stations are available for passenger use within terminal four and at other terminals at JFK, so that all passengers can ensure germ-free hands. Employees and passengers are briefed on the use of hand sanitizers and appropriate hand hygiene. Staff are briefed on the symptoms of COVID-19. Passenger information on the symptoms of the illness are provided in all the terminals. The terminals floors and furniture, bathrooms and counters are regularly sanitized with special attention played to high traffic areas.
Are businesses at the airport open as normal?
Restaurants and coffee shops have remained open - some with reduced hours and menu offerings. Some sit-down restaurants are only offering takeaway options and some are closed. Condiments and cutlery have been removed for sanitary reasons. Passengers must maintain the appropriate social distancing measures in the food court and ensure that hands are sanitized and masks are worn before entering. Lounges are closed or only open at select times - so please check daily availability. Limited food options are available at the food court.
Passengers can consult the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) airport website for more information, as regulations are changing frequently. There is also information available specifically pertaining COVID-19 and terminal 4 at JFK. For information on flights and accommodation to and from the US and other destinations, you can visit BudgetAir.com to compare options and prices.