Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash
Apr 29, 2021
De Blasio: City can fully reopen July 1, though Cuomo wants sooner
Full reopening of Brooklyn’s bars, restaurants, and other businesses announced by a mayor who doesn't actually have that authority
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday morning that the city will be ready to get back to pre-pandemic business—allowing restaurants and stadiums and businesses to operate a full capacity by July. The plan, he said, is to “fully reopen New York City on July 1.”
And yet, as many observers point out, the mayor has not historically had the authority to make such a declaration. That tends to fall to the state: Gov. Andrew Cuomo, unable to let an opportunity to one-up the mayor slide by, said he was hopeful that New York can fully reopen earlier than July. (In the next breath, he also said he doesn’t want to make projections.)
Still, the state legislature has recently greenlit a flurry of other developments: The midnight dining curfews on dining outdoors and indoors are being lifted May 17 and May 31, respectively. The state legislature also just suspended the reviled “Cuomo snacks” directive issued by the governor that required customers to order food when purchasing alcohol at bars and restaurants.
“Cheers to the Assembly repealing the need to buy food when you buy a beer. No more #CuomoSnacks!” wrote Assembly Member Robert Carrol of Brooklyn’s 44th District on Twitter.
Some dismissed the mayor’s announcement as arbitrary—as if Covid’s just going to pack up its bags and leave the city.
“I don’t envy the person who explains to a NYC high school senior that she couldn’t have a normal graduation on June 25, but can go see Tina at Lunt-Fontnne on July 1,” wrote Taylor Tepper, a Forbes advisor, on Twitter.
— Assemblymember Robert Carroll (@Bobby4Brooklyn) April 29, 2021
I don’t envy the person who explains to a NYC high school senior that she couldn’t have a normal graduation on June 25, but can go see Tina at Lunt-Fontnne on July 1 https://t.co/OevYLmk3QX
— Taylor Tepper (@TaylorTepper) April 29, 2021
Nearly a third—31 percent—of adults in Brooklyn are fully vaccinated. And the 3.6 percent test positivity rate, which is still declining, might signal a light at the end of the tunnel (hopefully one that isn’t another oncoming train): As of Thursday, any adult can walk in to a state-run mass vaccination site and get a jab sans appointment. More than 6,427,000 doses have been administered city-wide, though the rates at which people are getting vaccinated appears to be slowing.
“Just show up, and roll up your sleeve, and the mass vaccination sites have the capacity to handle it,” Governor Cuomo said on Tuesday.
The city-run mass vax sites were already available for walk-ins starting last week. In Brooklyn, the mass sites are at Medgar Evers College and the Brooklyn Army Terminal.
“What we’re seeing is that people have gotten vaccinated at extraordinary numbers,” de Blasio said. “This is going to be the summer of New York City. I think people are going to flock to New York City because they want to live again.”
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