New York City Will 'Fully Reopen' by July 1, Mayor Says
After more than a year in various stages of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City expects to "fully reopen" by July 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday.
"Our plan is to fully reopen New York City on July 1," de Blasio said in an interview on MSNBC. "We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength. "
"This is going to be the summer of New York City," said NBC New York reported. "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."
Although de Blasio did not detail if people will have to provide additional COVID-19 requirements, like proof of vaccination, to access the city's cultural events this summer — or if capacity limits will gradually roll back over the coming months. Indoor masking rules are likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future.
The mayor's announcement follows news from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office released Wednesday that the state would lift the current midnight curfew will lift for outdoor dining on May 17 and for indoor dining on May 31.
Bar seating will also resume in New York City on May 3.
Spectator capacity at large outdoor event venues will increase to 33 percent, beginning May 19.
Broadway theatres are not expected to reopen until September at the earliest, although smaller theatres may reopen over the summer, NBC New York reported.
All social distancing, health screening, and mask rules remain in effect, except for outdoor spaces where it is possible to maintain a social distance. This week, the CDC also updated its guidance for fully vaccinated people to take off their masks when outside.
Regardless of vaccination status, the CDC noted this week, people should still wear masks when in crowded outdoor settings like sports games as well as in several indoor situations.