New York City to fully reopen on July 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio says

New York City will “fully reopen” on July 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday. The mayor said that bars, restaurants, theaters, museums and gyms will no longer be under capacity restrictions.

Capacity limits on indoor spaces were put in place last year as the city slowly re-opened after flattening the curve. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Thursday, de Blasio said New Yorkers should still remain “smart” but “we now have the confidence that we can pull all of these pieces together and get life back, really, in many ways, to where it was.”

“We said a month or so ago, it was the variants versus the vaccination, what was going to win, which one was going to win the race. Vaccination is winning this race,” he said, adding that with 6.3 million vaccinations COVID-19 in New York is “plummeting.” 

“Our plan is to fully reopen New York City on July 1” –@NYCMayor pic.twitter.com/2CqSC9XqJr

“This is going to be the summer of New York City,” he said. “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.”

During his inauguration speech, President Joe Biden his goal was for Americans to be able to gather in small groups again by July 4. 

However, de Blasio’s plan for New York City may have to go through Governor Andrew Cuomo. During a press briefing on Thursday morning, de Blasio said he has not spoken to the governor, but the city will work with the state and federal government on plans to re-open. CBS New York has reached out to Cuomo’s office to see if he will have final approval.

The mayor said the city will use data and science to determine any other preventive measures may stay in place once capacity limits are lifted. He said after June, the city will assess if measures like mandatory mask-wearing are still necessary. 

“I think some institutions are going to choose to [have vaccine passports],” he said. “The key is to get people vaccinated … this is the single most important thing for all of us to do.” He said there is a goal to create more incentives to get vaccinated and to make it more convenient.

While de Blasio said his focus is not on the rest of this school year, but rather the summer and providing free activities for kids throughout the city, he is confident that schools will be fully back in person in September, with enough staff.

“We are planning for the ability to having every single child back,” he said. 

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