Earlier today (April 29) New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city is set to fully reopen on July 1. After over a year of COVID restrictions, quarantining, and sacrifices that the city’s citizens have made, the mayor seemed hopeful that by this summer NYC will be able to lift all its restrictions and return to its regular happenings.
“Our plan is to fully reopen New York City on July 1,” the Mayor said this morning. “We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength. We have poured over the science and the data — 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.”
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Despite his enthusiasm, local news outlet NBC NY noted that de Blasio didn’t detail any of the specific health safety measures that would need to be put in place to achieve his July 1 reopening goal, “nor did he lay out which COVID precautions may stay in place through summer or any other requirements.” Importantly, the news source also highlighted that de Blasio didn’t explain how the city’s reopening would take place under the statewide restrictions implemented by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who the outlet said de Blasio “hadn’t spoken to — about the reopening announcement before he made it.”
Regardless, the Mayor continued in his address today, “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.”
“I want people to be smart about, you know, the basic rules we’ve learned,” de Blasio emphasized. “Use the masks indoors when it makes sense, wash your hands, all the basics. But what we can say with assurance now is we’re giving COVID no room to run anymore in New York City. We now have the confidence that we can pull all these pieces together and get life back really in many ways to where it was, where people can enjoy an amazing summer.”
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In an effort to get people excited and ready for the shift back to normalcy he hopes to enact in the city, de Blasio told its citizens, “Help us out by going out and getting vaccinated if you haven’t already. It’s free and it’s all over the city and now we’re doing walkups at sites all over the city. We’ve got some work to do but I’m quite confident we’ll be ready for full strength by July 1. We’re seeing better indicators in terms of healthcare than we even expected at this point, and this is the power of vaccination.”
*Update: While deeming any predictions as “irresponsible,” following the Mayor’s announcement this morning, Gov. Cuomo said, “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.”
See a portion of the Mayor’s speech down below.