New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared Thursday that the city will be ready to fully reopen July 1.
Speaking on MSNBC, de Blasio said the city is planning for a 100% capacity reopening in July of stores, restaurants, gyms and arenas due to the increasing pace of vaccinations. Broadway theaters will still be aiming for a September reopening, he said.
“I’d say you should expect Broadway full strength in September,” de Blasio said. “But I’d love to see some of the smaller shows up in July and August.”
The mayor did not provide specifics on what type of shows could reopen this summer, in terms of seating capacity or cast size. He said Broadway needs to wait until September due to the time it will take to remount productions.
Moreover, the mayor acknowledged that Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with whom he has frequently clashed, has ultimate say over the easing of capacity restrictions and the reopening of venues in the city.
Cuomo, who issued the initial order to close Broadway, has not yet made a Broadway announcement. In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Cuomo said he believed making projections is “irresponsible,” but that he hoped to reach a “functional reopening” before July 1.
A functional reopening, which Cuomo reiterated will be guided by the state, means a phased increase in capacity levels, while maintaining some safety precautions such as masks and six feet of distance.
“It’s statewide management system and we are managing it by the science, by the data,” Cuomo said.
On April 26, Cuomo announced the increase of spectator arenas to 33% from 20%, beginning May 19, and an increase in office capacity to 75% from 50% starting May 15.
De Blasio said he plans to “fully reopen” the city due to the improving COVID-19 numbers in New York City, as well as the ramp up in vaccinations. As of Wednesday, about 36% of the city’s adult population had been fully vaccinated.
“Federal government, state government always have a say,” de Blasio said Thursday morning. “But I’m saying as leader of New York City, we’re ready to come back and come back strong.”