A Target Date for a Full Reopening in New York City

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A Target Date for a Full Reopening in New York City

Post by maestrob » Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:40 am

By Troy Closson
April 30, 2021
Updated 5:50 a.m. ET

The hope for a return to vibrant city life in New York is no longer just a distant dream.

On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city aims to fully reopen on July 1, allowing businesses, including restaurants, stores and nightclubs, to operate at full capacity.

His promise was not a clear decree: The mayor has little authority to eliminate virus-related restrictions. But the penciled-in goal marks a symbolic shift for a city devastated by the pandemic.

“We now have the confidence we can pull all these pieces together, and get life back together,” Mr. de Blasio said. “This is going to be the summer of New York City.”

What does this mean for New Yorkers?

The city’s goal includes a full reopening of gyms, hair salons, arenas, theaters and museums. Mr. de Blasio said that he also wants uninterrupted service on the subway — currently closed for cleaning from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. — to return in July.

Some restrictions on bars and restaurants have also already been removed or will phase out next month.

So it’s official then?

Not quite.

The power to lift virus-related restrictions largely lies with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, whom Mr. de Blasio said he had not spoken with about the reopening target. (The two have often disagreed on the best path forward.)

Any major changes will also remain contingent on vaccinations — which have begun to slow in pace and still lag among Black and Latino residents — continuing to climb. The spread of the virus will also need to remain in control: The city averaged about 1,650 new daily cases over the past week, but public health officials say that if the current trajectory holds, the number could fall below 600 cases a day by July.

What would remain different?

It’s unclear just how quickly some important aspects of city life will return, even once permitted.

More than 32,500 New Yorkers have died from the virus. The pandemic wiped out hundreds of businesses. The mayor hopes to see offices open in the summer, but many large employers are waiting until the fall. Tourism is not expected rebound to prepandemic levels for years. And full-scale Broadway productions are not set to begin until September.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/30/nyre ... e=Homepage

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