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New York mayor says city plans to ‘fully reopen’ on July 1

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NEW YORK – New York City is aiming to “fully reopen” on July 1 after more than a year of closures and capacity restrictions, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday. “We are ready to bring New York back completely on July 1,” de Blasio said at a press conference. “Now we can see that light at the end of the tunnel.” De Blasio said he had not discussed the city’s reopening date with Governor Andrew Cuomo, but his announcement comes a day after Cuomo lifted restrictions that would pave the way for a nightlife revival. emblematic of the city. The state has the power to impose or lift restrictions related to coronaviruses. “I think the best way to do it here is to exhibit the vision for the city,” said de Blasio. Asked about New York City’s plan to reopen at a subsequent press conference, Cuomo said he was “reluctant” to set a date, but hoped it could happen before July 1. “I don’t want to wait that long,” Cuomo said. “I think if we do what we need to do, we can reopen sooner.” While the July 1 date remains ambitious, and other jurisdictions such as Texas have already declared a full reopening, De Blasio’s announcement is significant. New York is the most populous city in the country and was the first epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. The news was well received by many New Yorkers. “It means we’re getting back on track, everything’s back to normal,” said Francisco Krauz, a construction worker on hiatus on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Rob Dicks, director of talent practice and capital markets organization at IT consultancy firm Accenture, said he looks forward to the full reopening, with an appetite for a recent business meeting that will take place. ‘he held in Manhattan after a year of Zoom meetings. “It was surreal to be back in Midtown for the first time in a year, to have a face-to-face meeting with the customer outside in a restaurant,” he said. “Video is an evolution … and it is effective, but there are some topics that only need to be addressed face to face.” The mayor said his optimism about the city’s return to normal reflects the progress of a mass vaccination campaign. He said 6.4 million doses of the vaccine had been administered in the city of more than 8 million people. More than 42% of residents have received at least one injection of the coronavirus vaccine, according to city data. Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been on a downward trend in New York City since the start of the year. On a seven-day moving average, the city reported more than 7,000 new cases per day at the height of the outbreak in January. In March, new infections dropped to 4,000 per day and now an average of 2,000 per day. Last week, New York City recorded about 12,000 new cases, or 141 per 100,000 residents. If it were a state, it would rank 17th nationally for most new infections. Overall, New York State has reported 158 cases per 100,000, while California and Hawaii recorded less than 40 new cases per 100,000 last week. De Blasio did not provide clear guidelines on whether people attending shows, indoor dining, or gyms and trade fairs should meet specific requirements, such as showing proof of vaccination. “There will certainly be particular institutions that might choose to have rules regarding a vaccination or a test,” he told reporters, adding that the city will continue to monitor COVID-19 data and adjust its approach as result. Currently, the New York Yankees and Mets are requiring those who attend baseball games to undergo a rapid COVID-19 test or show proof of vaccination before entering their stadiums in accordance with New York state guidelines. Attendance is limited to 20% of capacity. Cuomo set a date on Wednesday to end the curfew that had forced restaurants across the city to end their bar and food service before midnight. The curfew would end on May 17 for outdoor dining areas and May 31 for indoors, he said. The governor also authorized the reopening of places in bars in the state for the first time on May 3. Additionally, Cuomo said capacity limits will increase starting May 15 for various businesses outside of New York City, including gyms and casinos. Offices statewide, including the city, will be able to increase capacity by 50 to 75 percent, the governor said. By Peter Szekely and Maria Caspani