New York City aims to 'fully reopen' on July 1


New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday he plans to fully reopen the city July 1, declaring it is going to be "the summer of New York City".

It was not immediately clear how the mayor's plans would square with those of the state government, which has control over operating restrictions on restaurants and other businesses. He said he hopes some smaller productions can open by July. De Blasio's administration is aiming for 5 million people to have received both doses by June 30.

Despite its success in beating back the coronavirus, COVID-19 has taken a awful toll on New York City.

De Blasio said there was still "work to be done" and said the key to reopening would be getting everybody vaccinated.

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The mayor also noted that the American Museum of Natural History is hosting free vaccinations under its blue whale exhibit - adding that the museum is giving away four free admissions to people who get their shot.

The mayor did not address the issue of whether those attending shows or dining indoors would have any specific requirements, such as presenting proof of vaccination, once the city fully reopens.

"Our plan is to fully reopen New York City by July 1", he announced on the morning talk show. "What we're seeing is people have gotten vaccinated, an extraordinary number, 6.3 million vaccinations in New York City to date", de Blasio said on MSNBC on Thursday, April 29.

"We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength", de Blasio said, crediting the vaccination rollout and precautions like mask-wearing and hand-washing with helping to keep Covid-19 in check. It has seen 923,953 COVID-19 cases and 32,461 related deaths as of Wednesday. State lawmakers in Albany have already said restrictions on bars and restaurants will be lifted in May.