NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio hopes to have New York City “fully reopen” starting July 1, he announced Thursday.
As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, it is important to note this is the mayor’s goal, and not 100% set in stone.READ MORE: Gottlieb Says US Needs New Vaccine Strategy As Pace Of Shots Lags
“This is going to be an amazing summer, and I can’t tell you, I am just so excited,” de Blasio said. “It means we get to go back to so many of things we love. It means so many jobs get to come back, and soon.”
His plan would lift restrictions for:
- Restaurants and bars
- Stores, shops and small businesses
- Hair salons and barber shops
- Gyms and fitness classes
- Arenas and stadiums
- Theaters, music halls and Museums
“We now can set this goal because we’ve been moving forward constantly — more and more vaccinations, fewer and fewer infections, thank God,” the mayor said. “But we’ve got to keep doing that, everyone.”
WATCH: Mayor De Blasio Discusses Road To Reopening In New York City
CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez asked de Blasio if he spoke with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, since many of the restrictions still in place come from the state.
“I have not,” he replied. “I think the best way to proceed here is to set out the city’s vision. We’re going to work with the federal government. We’re going to work with the state government. But it’s quite clear — you just saw the indicators, you’ve seen the numbers of vaccinations — it’s quite clear it’s time to set a goal and move on that goal.”
At a time New Yorkers are fighting for their livelihoods and some normalcy, the mayor and governor resumed their long-standing nastiness toward each other.
“I think the balance of power shifted a lot in Albany. I think the Legislature is running the state of New York and thank God for it,” de Blasio said.
“Ask the people of New York City what they think of the mayor of New York City and I would second their opinion,” Cuomo said.
Later Thursday, the governor told reporters he thinks the city will fully reopen even earlier than July.
“I don’t want to wait that long. I think if we do what we have to do, we can be reopened earlier,” Cuomo said.
That means keeping COVID numbers low and continuing to vaccinate.
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Among New Yorkers, there was a range of reactions.
“Everything 100%? I think that’s crazy when we don’t have herd immunity or anywhere close,” said Jesse Frank of SoHo.READ MORE: President Biden Makes Vaccination Push As Concerns Over Delta Variant Increase
“I think July 1 is ridiculous. I think they should open up the city immediately,” another person said.
As for Broadway, de Blasio said it is still looking at a September opening, but is hopeful other smaller shows will be able to open sooner.
Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, applauded the proposal.
“The news this week on easing restaurant and bar restrictions and heading toward a full reopening of New York City provides optimism for small business owners and workers who have been financially devastated by the pandemic, but we’re still on a very long road to full economic and social recovery. So, we urge our government leaders to double down on efforts to revive the hospitality industry, including enacting legislation to continue the popular alcohol to go policy, issuing temporary liquor licenses for new restaurants and bars in New York City to open faster, permanently capping third-party delivery fees, and swiftly connecting Restaurant Revitalization Fund dollars to struggling businesses,” Rigie said in a statement.
There were signs of a rebirth at Acme Restaurant in NoHo. Staffers were getting ready to reopen next Thursday for the first time since the pandemic started.
“We’re really hopeful. I think that the restaurant industry is coming back,” said Jon Neidich, the CEO of Golden Age Hospitality. “Super exciting. It’s news we’ve been waiting for … for a long time now.”
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Tavern on the Green opened for the first time in 13 months Thursday.
Joe and Ellen O’Connor dressed up for the occasion.
“It’s just a great city, and we didn’t have a great city for, what, 12 months?” Joe O’Connor said.
“It means New York is back. That’s all I know,” Ellen O’Connor said.
Hugh Lynch and his sisters told CBS2’s Jessica Layton they came to the restaurant when they were kids.
“It’s a dreamscape. When you come to the city and you come to the park, you’re lucky if you can get into there,” Lynch said.
“It’s about celebrating and being out again,” Ann Van Osnabrugge said.
To get in, you not only needed a reservation but a temperature check.
“I think we’re all gonna power through the rebirthing after a very hard year,” restaurant co-owner Jim Caiola said.MORE NEWS: New York Scaling Back Mass COVID Vaccination Sites, Adding Pop-Ups At Early Voting Locations
CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez and Jessica Layton contributed to this report