New York mayor envisions full reopening by July 1 By Reuters
By Peter Szekely and Maria Caspani
NEW YORK (Reuters) -New York Metropolis goals to “absolutely reopen” on July 1 after greater than a 12 months of closures and capability restrictions, Mayor Invoice de Blasio mentioned on Thursday, citing passable progress in vaccinating its greater than 8 million residents.
“We’re able to carry New York Metropolis again absolutely on July 1,” de Blasio instructed a information briefing. “Now we will see that gentle on the finish of the tunnel.”
De Blasio mentioned he had not mentioned the town’s reopening date with Governor Andrew Cuomo however his announcement comes a day after Cuomo lifted restrictions that may clear the way in which for a revival of the town’s nightlife. The state has the facility to impose or raise restrictions on eating places and different venues.
“I believe one of the simplest ways to proceed right here is to set out the town’s imaginative and prescient,” de Blasio mentioned.
Requested concerning the reopening plan for New York Metropolis at a later press convention, the governor reiterated it was as much as the state to make choices on reopening. He mentioned he was “reluctant” to set a date however was hopeful it may occur earlier than July 1.
“I do not need to wait that lengthy,” mentioned Cuomo. “I believe if we do what we have now to do – we may be reopened earlier.”
Although the July 1 date continues to be aspirational, the mayor’s announcement is critical in that New York is the nation’s most populous metropolis and was the early epicenter of the pandemic because the virus started sweeping throughout the US final spring.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday eased capability restrictions for companies together with eating places and bars, theaters, festivals and outside spectator occasions, citing an enchancment in COVID-19 metrics and progress in vaccine distribution.
In California final month, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties eased pointers that had stored most workplace buildings closed for the final 12 months, permitting firms to open up their places of work for as much as 1 / 4 of their capability. Los Angeles County may enter the state’s least restrictive section as quickly as subsequent week, well being officers mentioned earlier this week.
Elsewhere, Hong Kong bars and golf equipment opened to serve those that have had not less than one vaccine shot. France will begin enjoyable a nightly curfew and permit cafes, bars and eating places to supply outdoors service from Might 19.
MASSIVE VACCINATION DRIVE
The New York mayor mentioned his optimism on the town’s imminent return to regular mirrored the progress of a large drive to get New Yorkers vaccinated. He mentioned 6.4 million doses of vaccine have been administered within the metropolis of greater than 8 million residents.
Greater than 42% of residents have obtained not less than one shot of a coronavirus vaccine, in response to metropolis knowledge.
“Persons are displaying up,” he mentioned. “We have to maintain the momentum going,” he added. “That is precisely how we get to the total reopening we’re all trying ahead to.”
Whereas touting the inoculation effort, the mayor acknowledged the town wanted to make extra progress on vaccinations, particularly to achieve communities hardest hit by COVID-19.
Coronavirus circumstances, hospitalizations and deaths have trended decrease in New York Metropolis for the reason that starting of the 12 months. On a seven-day rolling common, the town reported over 7,000 new circumstances a day on the outbreak’s peak in January. By March new infections ebbed to 4,000 a day and now common about 2,000 a day.
New York Metropolis final week had about 12,000 new circumstances or 141 circumstances per 100,000 folks. If it have been a state, it will rank seventeenth nationwide for many new infections. New York State total was reporting 158 circumstances per 100,000 whereas California and Hawaii had lower than 40 new circumstances per 100,000 final week.
De Blasio didn’t present clear pointers on whether or not these attending reveals, eating indoors or frequenting gyms and salons must adhere to any particular necessities, akin to presenting proof of vaccination.
“There definitely shall be specific establishments which will select to have guidelines round a vaccination or testing,” de Blasio instructed reporters, including that the town will maintain monitoring COVID-19 knowledge and alter its method accordingly.
Presently, the New York Yankees and Mets require these attending baseball video games to take a fast COVID-19 take a look at or present proof of vaccination earlier than gaining admission to their ballparks in step with New York state pointers. Attendance is proscribed to twenty% of capability.
On Wednesday, Cuomo set a date for the top of a curfew that had pressured metropolis eating places to finish their bar and meals service by midnight. The curfew would finish on Might 17 for outside eating areas and on Might 31 for indoors, he mentioned. The governor additionally allowed seating at bars throughout the state to reopen for the primary time on Might 3.
As well as, Cuomo mentioned capability limits would enhance beginning Might 15 for a number of companies outdoors of New York Metropolis, together with gyms and casinos. Workplaces throughout the state, together with within the metropolis, will have the ability to enhance capability from 50% to 75%, the governor mentioned.