New York City will be “fully reopened” on 1 July, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday morning. The reopening would come nearly a year-and-a-half after the city shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our plan is to fully reopen New York City on 1 July” the mayor said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength.”
Mr de Blasio went on to declare that “this is going to be the summer of New York City” when making the announcement.
“I think people are going to flock to New York City because they want to live again,” he added.
Further details of the mayor’s reopening plan for the city were expected later on Thursday, but Mr de Blasio indicated that all Covid-19 restrictions could be lifted come July.
The mayor has taken a more cautious approach to announcing this reopening, though, given that he and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have previously butted heads on altering Covid-19 restrictions.
“What I’m saying as leader of New York City, we are ready to come back and come back strong,” Mr de Blasio said. “The data and the science are saying out loud, it’s time to come back.”
Broadway was one area that was not expected to be fully reopened come July, though. Instead, the mayor said he expected “Broadway full strength in September, but I’d love to see some of the smaller shows up in July and August.”
One reason the mayor was seeing promising signs that New York City could return to normal was because of how quickly residents were receiving a Covid-19 vaccine. “People have gotten vaccinated in extraordinary numbers, 6.3 million vaccinations in New York City to date,” Mr de Blasio said.
“We know the vaccination effort is going to grow and grow,” he added. “We gotta keep working hard at that.”
About 3.5 million residents, or 42 per cent of the population, have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. There were 2.4 million residents, or 30 per cent of the population, who are fully vaccinated against the novel virus, according to data released by the New York City Department of Health.
Vaccinations have proven to be effective in the city, as cases, hospitalisations, and death rates from Covid-19 have starkly declined within the last month. Cases were down by 38 per cent, hospitalisations were down by 43 per cent, and deaths were down by 37.5 per cent over the last 28 days, according to the city’s health department.
Mr de Blasio said the city would reach the halfway point of his goal of fully vaccinating 5 million residents by the end of June on Thursday.
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