Travel Responsibly: In an effort to limit the impact of COVID-19, mask-wearing and social distancing are required in all public spaces per official guidelines. Advance tickets or reservations are highly recommended or necessary at many spots. Your best bet: Plan ahead.

Led by New York State, Syracuse and Onondaga County as a whole are following existing mitigation efforts to limit the impact of COVID-19.

That means, with visitor health and safety still a top priority, residents and visitors can still safely enjoy things to do in the Greater Syracuse area with new guidelines and measures in place.

Visit Syracuse is united with public health agencies, government and elected officials, industry colleagues and you — the Greater Syracuse community and our visitors — to support visitors, residents and employees throughout Syracuse and Onondaga County.

Read on for more information about health and safety and how to visit Syracuse and Onondaga County now.

Note: This page was last updated on April 12, 2021.


How to Navigate Visiting Now

New York State has varying degrees of guidelines and restrictions throughout the region for gatherings, entertainment and travel. 

Onondaga County is no longer under any Zone Restrictions. The City of Syracuse and surrounding areas throughout the county remain under the basic New York State guidelines for COVID restrictions. 

Current guidelines still include: 

  • Both indoor and outdoor dining is permitted with a 10 person maximum per table. Bars and restaurants must still close on 11pm for on-premises consumption. Take-out and curbside pick-up is still allowed after 11pm, with the exception of alcohol sales. 

Additional guidelines are in place in statewide including:

  • Outdoor gatherings at private residences limited to 25 people while indoor gatherings are still capped at 10 people.
  • Gyms, bars and restaurants are required to close daily at 11pm.
  • New York State does not currently require DOMESTIC travelers to quarantine or show a negative COVID test result. New travel recommendations should still be followed. For detailed information please refer to the NYS Travel Advisory site

Your best bet: Plan ahead before visiting to see what experiences to expect.

In-state travelers can take advantage of the Excelsior Pass when navigating access to large events and entertainment options. The Pass allows for secure, digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results. More information can be found on the state site.

Below, check out our tips on how to navigate visiting the Syracuse region.

Kids wearing face masks on a Hayride

Guidelines & Masks

Do I need to quarantine if I’m visiting from out of state? Visitors to New York State from another state that is not contiguous, must obtain a COVID-19 test within three days of departure, prior to arrival in New York. Upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days before obtaining another COVID-19 test on day 4 of their quarantine. If both tests comes back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test. Travelers who do not obtain a test prior to arrival in New York and/or on the 4th day in New York, must quarantine for 10 days. Read more here.

Do I need to plan ahead? Yes! For the best experience, planning your excursion ahead of time is key. Each business and destination will have slightly different guidelines.

Is mask-wearing mandatory? Yes, mask-wearing is mandatory throughout the state for all indoor public spaces as well as outdoor public spaces where six feet of social distancing isn’t possible. At restaurants, diners may remove masks while seated at a table with their family for eating and drinking.

How many people can get together socially? New York State has limited indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences to no more than 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors. 


Staying Over

What is it like staying in a Syracuse area hotel right now? Hotels in the region are accepting guests now that they’ve made numerous safety adjustments to ensure visitors feel and stay safe. Many hotels are offering deals now, too, so check with individual properties to see what’s of the moment.


Dining Out

What’s it like to dine out in Syracuse and Onondaga County now? All bars and restaurants must close by 11pm. All area bars and restaurants are also limited to 75% capacity, with table limits of 10 people. Open indoor and outdoor dining have enacted precautions to keep everyone safe. Masks are still required at all bars and restaurants while patrons are standing or moving around. For in-person dining try to make reservations ahead of time wherever possible.

Do I need a reservation to dine at a Syracuse area restaurant? Reservations are definitely recommended to ensure the dining experience you’re seeking will be available, especially when planning to dine indoors. Check with each individual location for their policies and procedures.

Can I just get a drink at a bar or restaurant? Not yet. Alcohol orders still must be accompanied by a food purchase at all bars and restaurants regardless or indoor or outdoor dining. To-go alcoholic beverages are still available until 11pm.

How many people can sit at a table together? Current guidelines allow for up to 10 people per table.

What time is last call? All bars and restaurants in New York State must close by 11pm. Curbside pick-up and takeout of alcoholic beverages also must stop by 11pm.

Waitress wearing mask and speaking to customers at Bull & Bear in Fayetteville, NY


Visiting Museums, Attractions, Shops & More

What is it like to visit a Syracuse museum or attraction now? Museums and attractions in the region are open with capacity limits and, very often, timed ticketing. The upside? Museum-going is now an intimate, VIP-like experience with fewer visitors crowding halls and no more than 10 people (including staff) present in any single exhibit room at one time.

Are retail shops and shopping malls open? Yes, indoor malls and retailers are open with social distancing and often capacity limits.

Are casinos, live theaters, movie theaters, sports venues and outdoor music venues open in Onondaga County? Some. Entertainment venues in New York State will be allowed to open and offer performances, with capacity limits of 33% or 100 indoors and 200 outdoors, beginning on April 2. These numbers increase when COVID-19 testing measures are in place. Casinos are open with capacity limits as well as additional restrictions and safety guidelines. Some movie theaters have reopened with strict guidelines and capacity rules. Large venues and stadiums are also allowed to open Please note this does not mean all venues have found it possible to open yet. Starting April 1, indoor sports venues with the capacity for 1,500 will be allowed to open at 10%, while outdoor sports venues with the capacity for 2,500 will be allowed to open at 20%. Outdoor live music venues with the capacity for 2,500 will also be able to open at 20%.


Meetings & Weddings

What are the wedding guidelines for Onondaga County? Beginning March 15th weddings across New York State will allow for larger groups with certain restrictions. At this time weddings will be allowed to have up to 150 guests, or 50% of the reception venue's capacity, whichever is smaller. All guests must be tested ahead of time and every event needs to be approved by the Onondaga County health department. More information to come from the NYS Forward website.

What are the guidelines for meetings? Meetings will follow the same guidelines as Weddings and other Catered Events. The 150 person limit, or 50% of the venue capacity, whichever is smaller is in effect for all meetings and conferences at this time. Meeting venues and hotel meeting spaces are open for these limited sized events. Please contact our sales team for further information. 

For more information on the Weddings, Catered Events and Meeting/Conference Guidelines click here. 


Getting Around

What’s riding public transportation like now? CENTRO bus service  throughout the region follows state guidelines in requiring all patrons and employees to wear masks while using the service. Social distancing guidelines are also in place as well as other health and safety guidelines. In addition, Amtrak train service and Greyhound bus service operating at the William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center also require face coverings while on board. Amtrak is limiting bookings on certain service lines to follow social distancing as well as offering enhanced cleaning and cashless travel. Greyhound has also increased cleaning, is asking patrons to socially distance and is offering their Peace of Mind travel policy. 

Are taxis and rideshares available? Yes, taxis and rideshare services (Uber, Lyft) are open in the region with key safety guidelines in place, including required mask wearing. Planning ahead to schedule a taxi or rideshare car is highly recommended since drivers and services may be limited right now.

Remember, planning ahead will always be your best bet to ensure a great experience.


More COVID-19 Resources

The Onondaga County Department recommends these best practices to support our community and prevent the spread of the virus.

Those flying into Syracuse Hancock International Airport and nearby regional airports should check the latest alerts from the federal government:

Centers for Disease Control Travel Advisory

Federal Aviation Administration Travel Advisory