New York City Preparing for Phase 1 of Reopening in June, de Blasio Says

May 28, 2020 Updated: May 28, 2020

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio outlined the first phase of the city’s reopening plan, saying that it’s on track to reopen during the first or second week of June.

Speaking in a daily press conference, the mayor said that some 200,000 to 400,000 people will return to work as construction and wholesale operations resume. Furniture and clothing stores can reopen for curbside pickup, the mayor said.

“That’s four whole parts of our economy, manufacturing, construction, wholesale, and parts of retail that haven’t been opened yet again with restrictions,” de Blasio said during the briefing. He added that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which operates the city’s subway and bus systems, have increased subway and rail service to make room for more commuters as businesses open up again.

New York City is the state’s only region that remains under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s PAUSE order. De Blasio didn’t provide an exact date for the city’s reopening.

Epoch Times Photo
Demonstration of UV disinfecting technology at a maintenance facility in New York City, on May 19, 2020. (Marc A. Hermann/MTA New York City Transit)

De Blasio noted that businesses that reopen must do so in compliance with social distancing measures that have been established while limiting capacity inside buildings at 50 percent. Those businesses also have to provide employees with protective equipment such as masks.

Gatherings and meetings will also have to be limited in size, he added.

And any business that reopens before it is eligible under New York state guidelines will “face the consequences,” de Blasio said.

“We’ve come a long way, we’re not going to blow it now,” de Blasio remarked. The mayor said he thinks “it’s time that New Yorkers see their hard work rewarded,” adding that “it hasn’t been easy for a single day.”

“Despite that, you’ve done it and you’ve done it to a remarkable degree,” he added, saying that New York has now enabled itself to “start talking about opening things up.”

The mayor said that the city has continued to experience a higher number of patients in hospital intensive care units, though he said that daily hospitalizations and the number of cases being confirmed on a daily basis have gone below key thresholds.

Several days ago, Cuomo announced that the state’s daily death toll dropped below 100 for the first time in two months.

“In my head, I was always looking to get under 100,” Cuomo said on May 23 in a daily briefing, confirming 84 statewide deaths from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which originated in mainland China last year.

“It doesn’t do good for any of those 84 families that are feeling the pain,” he said.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, New York has reported more than 28,000 deaths from the virus.