New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday said he aims to fully reopen the city by July 1, allowing shops, restaurants, stadiums to operate at full capacity. The Mayor's comment come as a glimmer of hope for a return to nornalcy for New Yorkers, although his authority to lift the restrictions being quite limited, according to The New York Times.
Speaking to MSNBC, the 59-year-old said that gyms, salons some theatres and museums should also expect to reopen without any capacity limits, while Broadway remains on track to reopen in September. He also said at a presser on Thursday that he wanted 24-hour service to be restored for subways by July.
"Our plan is to fully reopen New York City on July 1,” he said. “We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength.”
However, de Blasio does not have the power to introduce or remove such restrictions, with such actions taken by the state and Governor Andrew Cuomo during the pandemic. And on Thursday, a spokesperson for the governor confirmed that he still had the authority to make such decisions.
De Blasio said he has not spoken with Cuomo about the reopening plans.
The Mayor said he expected vaccinations to further curb new cases over the next few months. Daily cases count in the city has gone down from a second-wave peak of nearly 8,000 cases in January to around 2,000 per day last week.
City officials expect that number to drop to 600 or below by July if vaccinations continue at current pace.
"We now have the confidence we can pull all these pieces together, and get life back together. This is going to be the summer of New York City," de Blasio said.