April 29, 2021 By Allie Griffin
New York City plans to “fully reopen” on July 1, more than a year after the pandemic halted life in the city that never sleeps.
“It’s time to set a goal for a full reopening in New York City and that goal is July 1,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday morning. “We are ready to bring New York City back.”
Beginning July 1, businesses such as restaurants, bars, gyms, hair salons, stores, theaters, museums and more will be permitted to operate at 100 percent capacity, de Blasio said.
The July 1 date, however, must be sanctioned by the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo will need to sign off on any rollback of COVID-19 restrictions such as capacity limits.
Cuomo said he hopes the city’s reopening date will be sooner than July, but didn’t give a specific date at a subsequent press conference Thursday.
De Blasio said the decline in coronavirus case numbers shows that the city can fully reopen soon—and that the city is becoming safer as more New Yorkers get vaccinated.
Six million doses of the vaccine have been administered across the city and the latest COVID-19 positivity rate was 3.18 percent — well below the city’s 5 percent warning marker. The positivity rate, number of new cases and hospital admissions have all been steadily declining.
Based on this data, city health experts believe that July 1 is a reasonable date for a full reopening.
“We now can set this goal because we’ve been moving forward constantly,” de Blasio said. “More and more vaccinations; fewer and fewer infections, thank god. We got keep doing that.”
He encouraged people who had yet to be vaccinated to go out and do so. New Yorkers can schedule a vaccine appointment at vaccinefinder.nyc.gov or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC. Walk-in vaccinations are also available at all city- and state-run sites.
De Blasio said New Yorkers can finally see the “light at the end of the tunnel.”
He added that this summer will welcome an awakening of New York City for both residents and tourists.
“This is going to be the summer of New York City,” he said. “We’re all going to get to enjoy this city again and people are going to flock here from all over the country to be a part of this amazing moment in New York City.”
De Blasio said he’d also like to see the subway system operating 24/7 again by July 1. New York State, which controls the MTA, will decide when subways — which currently end service from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. for disinfecting — will resume overnight operation.
The mayor said he is excited beyond words to reopen New York City after more than a year of overwhelming suffering and loss. The city at one point was the national epicenter of the pandemic and the virus has killed more than 32,400 residents.
He thanked New Yorkers for following mask and social distancing rules for so long. He said he was grateful that so many people have rolled up their sleeves to get the COVID-19 shot.
“Everyday New Yorkers, what you have done, is the reason I can make this announcement today.”