New York City reopens under Phase One on Monday
The Big Apple will enter Phase One of reopening Monday amid the coronavirus — with retail shops set to start curbside or in-store pickup service as construction and manufacturing rev up again.
“It’s a big day for New York City,’’ Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday, adding that the Apple “has met all the [health] metrics,’’ including the one involving its number of new infections, which dropped to 781 cases, or around 1 percent of those tested, Saturday — the lowest rate since March 16.
The city’s subways should be at 95 percent of their pre-pandemic service by Monday to help get people around, officials have said. Masks are required and will be handed out to straphangers as needed, although ridership is expected to be no more than 15 percent of its usual level.
New York City is the final region in the state to go to Phase One.
In addition to retail curbside service and in-store pickups and drop-offs, construction is allowed to resume, as is manufacturing, wholesale trade and agriculture work under the state guidelines.
Retail-industry groups have predicted a trickling of city businesses starting up again Monday, as they begin to maneuver the new normal of social distancing and heightened health concerns amid the deadly pandemic.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday that he is still “cautious’’ about moving into Phase Two, which would allow many workers to return to their offices, restaurants and bars to offer outdoor seated service, retail shops to operate in-store business and other places such as hair salons to reopen, although at 50 percent capacity.
While Phase Two could occur as soon as two weeks from Monday, or June 22, under state guidelines, Hizzoner repeated that he wasn’t ready to commit to that date, instead saying, “Think about the beginning of July as the target.
“I want to keep expectations low on that,” he said of Phase Two.
“We are not like other regions of the state. We were the epicenter, and we remain the epicenter,” the mayor said.
“If we don’t like what we see, we are going to slow down the pace,” he said of the reopening schedule. “If we do like what we see, we might be able to go a little faster.”
He added that a decision on when to restart the city’s famed outdoor street fairs has not yet been made.
Meanwhile, Cuomo said Long Island will move into Phase Two on Wednesday, while the Hudson Valley gets to go to Phase Three on Tuesday, which means such things as in-restaurant dining.
Phase Four allows for the reopening of places including schools, movie theaters and museums.
Among the factors deciding phases are such things as infection, hospitalization and death rates.
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