COVID-19 Information for Visitors
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources
We are excited to welcome you back. To keep all of us safe, we ask that you practice patience and respect for everyone's safety while visiting our community. Social distancing (at least 6 feet/2 meters) between other parties and your hosts is still considered an appropriate courtesy. For the safety of our community along with all visitors, everyone is expected to still adhere to public safety guidelines including mask wearing, social distancing, daily symptom monitoring for anyone unvaccinated. While New York State is following CDC guidance on mask wearing and social distancing:
Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear masks in most settings. You will find many businesses in Ithaca and Tompkins County are still asking patrons and staff to wear masks while inside; New York State has authorized individual businesses to continue to require masks for everyone in their establishments. Please be sure to carry a mask as you may be required to wear it at individual venues and businesses, and it is still required on all forms of public transportation.
As of July 30, 2021 Tompkins County Health Dept has issued a Health Advisory encouraging all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask while indoors around others. This is out of an abundance of caution in response to rise in cases of the Delta Variant.
Travel Advisory for people visiting or returning to New York state:
- Effective May 19, New York has adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People,” issued May 13, 2021, for most businesses and public settings:
Businesses are authorized to require masks and six feet of social distancing for employees and/or patrons within their establishments OR adhere to CDC guidance, which advises that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks or be socially distanced, but unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks and be socially distanced in most settings. The NY Department of Health strongly recommends masks and six feet of social distancing in indoor settings where vaccination status of individuals is unknown.
- Mandatory quarantine remains in effect for international travelers.
- As of June 25, 2021, the New York State Travel Advisory is no longer in effect. As such, travelers arriving in New York are no longer required to submit traveler health forms.
- Overview of NY State COVID-19 Travel Advisory and guidance: coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory
- Resources for Travelers from I LOVE NY including info on COVID Alert mobile app and attraction occupancy limits: iloveny.com/travel-tools/coronavirus-resources-for-travelers/
- NYS COVID-19 Tracker with a breakdown by county in New York state is available to view online. Please note that Ithaca is located in Tompkins County.
- For NY State residents, consider using the Excelsior Pass -- a free, fast, and secure way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results. The pass is voluntary; New Yorkers can always show alternate proof of vaccination or testing, like another mobile application or paper form, directly at a business or venue.
All area colleges and universities are closed to visitors without an appointment.
For official responses and updates regarding Ithaca and Tompkins County and our higher education communities please reference the following websites:
Cornell University -- has not yet resumed public tours, check for updates: admissions.cornell.edu/visit/plan
Ithaca College -- has resumed campus tours as of June 2021, registration required: connect.ithaca.edu/portal/campusvisit
What's in Ithaca and the surrounding areas?
You will find our community remains vibrant, resilient, and welcoming. Those businesses that have chosen to reopen or continued to remain open are required to submit a safety plan to ensure the health of our residents and, you, our special guests. Please note even when reopening, many attractions are operating at reduced hours and some may now require a reservation such as The Museum of the Earth, The History Center, and the Sciencenter.
We know each phase of reopening is not uniform across the United States. Please keep in mind that our state is opening in phases, so it is wise to verify your chosen location is open prior to leaving home.
Our famous Ithaca Farmers Market has reopened for the 2021 at its Steamboat Landing location with revised rules to safely enjoy it.
For those taking advantage of the beautiful open-air spaces provided by our NY State Parks, please take note of the safety updates provided here: parks.ny.gov/covid19 For the latest status of New York State Parks including any closures, consider downloading the free Parks Explorer App.
Dining, Wineries & Craft Beverage Tastings in Ithaca
Many establishments continue adjust their offerings, some may require a reservation. Be sure to confirm hours before going to a restaurant, often their Facebook pages will have the most up to date information.
- Please understand our dining establishments are continuously adjusting their operations and offerings.
- Please check the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail's dedicated page for winery service updates in response to COVID-19.
- You can access the latest information & guidance regarding Coronavirus updates across New York state from the NY State Department of Health website.
- The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) is the lead agency managing our community response. You can reference updates from the Tompkins County Health Department website
Downtown Ithaca and The Commons
You will find many stores continue to request patrons wear masks inside. The Downtown Ithaca Alliance has been doing a wonderful job of compiling operation statuses and putting it here on their website: DOWNTOWNITHACA.COM
The Downtown Visitor Center in the Tompkins Center for History & Culture is now open | Hours of Operation: Thursday through Saturday, 10am-5pm.
The Taughannock Overlook Visitor Center is open daily May through October, weather dependent.
The East Shore Drive Visitor Center remains closed.
We are still available by phone and fulfilling requests to receive travel guides by mail.
The self-serve information lobby at East Shore Drive will remain open with access to area guides and maps. Currently, our Visitor Experience Team is available to webchat, email, and phone from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday.
Our dynamic, creative community remains strong. The Ithaca Events calendar will remain a resource for future events and rescheduled dates when the information becomes available.
- The full Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance as been postponed until 2022. For 2021, a series of concerts following COVID safety protocols will take place this summer, on Fridays and Saturdays July 9th through 31st with 4 nights around the traditional GrassRoots weekend (July 22-25) at the Trumansburg Fairgrounds and camping available at Across The Way Campgrounds.
- The Hangar Theatre Mainstage summer season will now include outdoor performances.
- Ithaca's beloved State Theatre remains closed, however they have started announcing shows and releasing tickets for fall/winter 2021-2022.
Visit Ithaca Virtually, Wherever You Are
There are many online resources that can bring the beauty of Ithaca and Tompkins County into your home. Sprinkled throughout our site, you'll find links to inspiring YouTube videos, drone footage of waterfalls, online learning opportunities, virtual tours, and podcasts. Visit Ithaca from home today, and we'll see you here when the time is right in the future!
- Ithaca Waterfalls
- Outdoor Recreation
- Colleges & Universities
- Ithaca Discovery Trail
- Health & Wellness
- Ithaca Cider & Cideries
- Cayuga Lake
Information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding 'Coronavirus and Travel in the United States' is viewable here. Everyone is encouraged to continue to follow the CDC's recommendations for practicing necessary hygiene including:
- Stay home if feeling sick
- Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds
- Clean hands upon entering a new room or after touching shared surfaces
- Maintain social distance and do not shake hands
- When possible, keep spaces open and well-ventilated
- Avoid touching face, eyes, nose with unwashed hand
Explore the many multi-use trails throughout Ithaca & Tompkins County at IthacaTrails.org and plan your next outdoor recreation adventure. Find info about locations, difficulty, mileage, and more!