On Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he’s hopeful that New York can fully reopen by July 1, the date Mayor Bill de Blasio pitched for the city’s lifting of restrictions earlier Thursday. Sending a beam of hope across the city, the move is obviously dependent on infection rates and hospitalizations, but nonetheless is a good sign for the Big Apple.
So what does a full reopening essentially mean? According to the Governors statement on Thursday, “Reopening means, literally, everything back to normal.” Meanwhile, De Blasio one-uped the Governor as he made the surprise announcement on his plans to fully reopen the city by early summer ahead of Cuomo’s scheduled briefing.
“I think they’re irresponsible,” Cuomo said, reiterating decisions on state pandemic restrictions were his call. “July 1 – you have May, June, what happens in May, what happens in June? I’d like to get the hopeful reopening date before that. I don’t want to wait that long. I think if we do what we have to do we can reopen earlier.” He did not specifically detail steps to achieve that goal, nor did he lay out which COVID precautions may stay in place through summer or any other requirements.
De Blasio, on the other hand, said, “I think the best way to proceed here is to set out the city’s vision. We’re going to work with the federal government, we’re going to work with the state government, but it’s quite clear it’s time to set a goal and move on that goal.”
As far as the road ahead is concerned, de Blasio said 100% reopening means full capacity for restaurants and bars, stores, shops and small businesses, hair salons, and barbershops, gyms and fitness classes, arenas, stadiums, music halls, museums, and theaters.
“Our plan is to fully reopen New York City on July 1. We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength. We have poured over the science and the data,” the mayor added. “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.”
Asked if the city planned to include additional COVID requirements, like proof of vaccinations or mask mandates in its full reopening, de Blasio said indoor masking will remain the norm.