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New York City eyeing ‘full reopening’ by July 1, de Blasio says

Get ready for a Big Apple summer.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is targeting July 1 for New York City’s “full reopening,” telling MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “we’re ready to come back and come back strong.”

“We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full-strength,” de Blasio said Thursday. That will likely include “full-strength” indoor dining, he added, “based on all the progress that we’ve made in this city.”

De Blasio cited fewer hospitalizations, a climbing vaccination rate and walk-in vaccine availability around the city as the reasons behind the optimistic reopening strategy.

“This is going to be the summer of NYC,” the mayor said.

Asked whether federal or state leaders, like embattled Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has clashed with de Blasio in the past, could intervene and stop the reopening, de Blasio said federal and state governments “always have a say.”

“I’m saying as leader of NYC we’re ready to come back and come back strong,” de Blasio responded. “We know the vaccination effort is going to grow and grow, we got to keep working hard at that but what’s amazing is every single day we’re beating back Covid more and more.”

Broadway may take a bit longer to light up, de Blasio said, but theaters are on track to reopen in September because of the time it takes to mount a full production.

“We do have work to do, I want to emphasize,” de Blasio said. “Anyone who likes what I’m saying, help us out by going out and getting vaccinated if you haven’t already.”

When asked about the mayor’s declaration during a news conference Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted that it’s a state decision to relax Covid-19 restrictions but said he hopes to reopen the state fully before July 1.

“I want to open up New York City Tuesday. I want to open it up Wednesday, I want Buffalo fully opened on Thursday,” Cuomo said. “You know, it’s a statewide management system. And we are managing it by the science, by the data. You look at the number, and you will see the rate of opening. I would hope — I am reluctant to make projections because I think they’re irresponsible.”

This story has been updated with comments from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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