New York City will 'fully reopen' in July, mayor says
New York City plans to "fully reopen" on July 1, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday.
"Our plan is to fully reopen New York City on July . We are ready," de Blasio said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
According to de Blasio, there will be no restrictions on restaurants, shops, businesses or theaters. However, Broadway theaters will still remain shut until September, according to Bloomberg. Currently, Broadway is shut down under the guidance of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s limited indoor performance capacity regulations.
And as much as the mayor wants the city to reopen, it's ultimately up to the governor or state lawmakers to lift COVID-19 restrictions.
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New York City became the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis early on in the pandemic. As the city went on lockdown, horrifying stories emerged of overfilled hospitals and high death rates caused by the virus. The city has recorded nearly 1 million positive COVID-19 cases and over 32,000 deaths, according to a tracker from The New York Times.
But the city also mounted an aggressive vaccination campaign in recent months, and 29% of New Yorkers are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The mayor cited vaccination rates for reopening the city.
Currently, New York State is under Phase 4 of reopening. That means indoor arenas are allowed to operate at 10% capacity, though fans must wear masks and test negative for coronavirus within 72 hours of the event. Outdoor arenas and performing arts venues can operate at 20% capacity and indoor dining has increased to half capacity in New York City. The midnight curfew on outdoor dining will end on May 17 and will end for outdoor dining on May 31.
The New York City subway remains closed from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. every morning for cleaning.
"This is going to be the summer of New York City. You're going to see amazing activities, cultural activities coming back. I think people are going to flock to New York City because they want to live again," de Blasio said.