New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in his daily press briefing on Friday that New York City can expect to begin the phase one reopening process on June 8.
Phase one will include manufacturing, construction, wholesale and retail operations, with non-essential shops opening for curbside pickup. The reopening schedule of restaurants, movie theaters, Broadway and live event venues in the city is still unclear.
Cuomo said the city is expected to reach the necessary health benchmarks by the first week of June, declaring that New York reported 67 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the lowest total that the state has seen in over two months. At this point, Cuomo said that the reopening for phase one would see more than 400,000 workers returning to their jobs. Employees will still need to wear proper face coverings and abide by social distancing regulations.
“Remember that re-opening does not mean we’re going back to the way things work. It’s going to be different,” Cuomo said. “It’s reopening to a new safer normal. People will be wearing masks and socially distanced. It’s just a new way of interacting, which is what we have to do.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined Cuomo at the briefing, saying the level of hospitalizations, deaths and confirmed cases have met the thresholds that would determine whether or not New York City could reopen safely.
“We are excited to get to the point of a restart for New York City,” de Blasio said. “When I talked to the people of New York City this morning, I told them the indicators were moving absolutely in the right direction, but that the key to getting to that definition of Phase I came from the collaboration between you and me and the state and the city to all get on the same page. We’re absolutely on the same page.”
Cuomo also said that five Empire State regions outside of New York City — Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and the Mohawk Valley — are ready to reopen for phase two, which includes offices, retail stores and personal service businesses.
(Pictured: Gov. Andrew Cuomo)