New York City is planning to be open for business in the summer of 2021. The city, which was the epicenter of the early days of the COVID pandemic in the United States, is aiming at a total removal of remaining restrictions by July 1, according to mayor Bill de Blasio.
“Our plan is to fully reopen New York CIty on July 1,” he said on MSNBC Wednesday. “We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength.”
The plans appear to be part of a continuing acceleration of reopening plans for most locations in the United States as vaccination efforts continue and infection and hospitalization metrics continue to improve. Previously, the mayor had pledged the city would make a strong effort to reopen Broadway by September, but this week’s announcement implies that could come sooner – assuming arts organizations can prepare for such a task on the shorter timetable.
Specific details on how the reopening plans will unfold have not yet been announced. Presumably the use of masks will continue to be encouraged, if not required, while the possibility of vaccination requirements for mass gathering events remains on the table. As of right now, events in the state generally require either proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test from those hoping to attend.
“I want people to be smart about, you know, basic – the rules we’ve learned, you know, use the masks indoors when it makes sense, wash your hands, all the basics,” de Blasio said. “But what we can say with assurance now is we’re giving COVID no room to run anymore in New York City. 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.”