"This is gonna be the summer of New York City." So Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday in announcing the city will "fully reopen" for the first time in more than a year on July 1. "We're well on the way. [We've] got some work to do, but I'm quite confident we'll be ready for full strength by July 1," de Blasio said on MSNBC's Morning Joe. He described that date as a "goal" in a subsequent tweet. New York City has been under coronavirus-related restrictions since March 2020, when it emerged as an early epicenter of the pandemic. It has seen 923,953 COVID-19 cases and 32,461 related deaths as of Wednesday. However, 36% of adult residents are now fully vaccinated, while more than half have received at least one dose, per CNBC.
"What we're seeing is people have gotten vaccinated in extraordinary numbers," de Blasio said on Morning Joe. By summer, "I think people are gonna flock to New York City [because] they want to live again." During a Thursday press conference, he said capacity limits would be lifted for small businesses, hair salons, gyms, stadiums, music halls, museums, and theaters. He credited "everyday New Yorkers" for their efforts to "fight through this crisis." De Blasio's announcement came a day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed a coming end to dining restrictions in the city, per Business Insider. He said bar seating would resume May 3 and a mandatory midnight curfew would end for outdoor dining on May 17, and for indoor dining on May 31. (Read more New York City stories.)