Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday morning that New York City will roll back pandemic-era restrictions and officially reopen this summer.
“Our plan is to fully reopen New York City on July 1st,” de Blasio said during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters — full strength.”
This announcement means that restaurants, stores, museums, gyms, theaters, and stadiums will be able to open to 100 percent capacity. On the subject of schools, the mayor said the city is in a “good place right now” in terms of safety, and that he sees every single child back in school by September.
De Blasio cited the high levels of vaccination as the reason why city residents can start looking forward to a sense of normalcy.
“We know the vaccination effort’s gonna grow and grow. We gotta keep working hard at that. But what’s amazing is, every single day, we’re beating back COVID more and more. Hospitalizations down. We’re just seeing a better situation every day. We’re ready to take that pathway to a full reopening,” de Blasio said.
The mayor said he still wants people to be “smart” about this move and continue to follow guidelines that have been put in place, such as frequent hand-washing and “using masks indoors when it makes sense.”
“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,” de Blasio said.
“This is going to be the summer of New York City,” he added.
When asked if the federal or state government, namely his frequent rival Governor Andrew Cuomo, could block the city from moving ahead with this plan if they thought it was too soon, the mayor said he is focused on the data and the science.
“Look, federal government, state government always have a say. But I’m saying, as the leader of New York City, we’re ready to come back and come back strong,” de Blasio said.