Life in New York City could fully return to normal in the next couple of months. Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced that he could lift COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and stores as early as July 1. “We are ready – for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters full strength. Because look, what we are seeing is people have gotten vaccinated,” Blasio said during an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
More than 6 million of 8.5 million New York residents have been fully vaccinated, and Blasio believes that the city will reach a crucial vaccination milestone before July.
New York City was once the epicenter of the pandemic and continued to rank among the worst-hit regions over the past year.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been hawkish with COVID-19 restrictions, pushing back efforts to reopen cities earlier. De Blasio’s reopening plan, however, appears to sit well with Cuomo, who has the final say on restrictions across the state.
Unlike many previous attempts to lift restrictions, De Blasio seems to be in sync with Cuomo on this plan. The governor’s stance on restrictions has recently softened thanks to encouraging statistics like the rapid rollout of vaccines and shrinking infection rates. Over the past few weeks, the governor has been winding down restrictions that were put in place over a year ago.
Cuomo has announced plans to loosen many more restrictions in May, including midnight curfews for bars and restaurants, and limits on attendance in catering events.
De Blasio was upbeat about the exciting prospects of the upcoming summertime in the city, with attractions like Broadway and other tourist hotspots set to open – albeit with limited capacity – after almost a year of recess.
“This is going to be the summer of New York City,” De Blasio claimed. “You’re going to see amazing activities, cultural activities coming back. I think people are going to flock to New York City because they want to live again.”