*Last updated on: December 8, 2020
COVID-19 Safety Measures at New York JFK Intl Airport
The new COVID-19 safety measures at New York JFK International Airport 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 travelers upon arrival?
As of November, a new travel advisory has been issued asking travelers arriving to New York from states with high COVID-19 infection rates to self-quarantine for 14 days. However, travelers are allowed to "test out" of the mandatory quarantine by filling up a Traveler Health Form. 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 travelers departing?
US citizens are advised to avoid international travel at this time and have been banned from entering countries in the European Union, UK, 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?
XpresCheck is available for COVID-19 screening on arrival or departure. It is located on the ground floor of the Arrivals Hall in terminal four. Passengers will need an appointment to get a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and 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.
What is the current protocol around cleanliness?
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 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.