Coronavirus: New York aims for a “full reopening” on July 1

Some 6.4 million doses of the vaccine have already been injected in New York, hit hard by the first wave of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, with some 32,000 deaths from the coronavirus in total.

ANear months of extreme caution in the face of a second wave of Covid-19, New York City plans to “reopen completely” on July 1, its mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday.

“We have set ourselves the goal of fully reopening New York on July 1,” the mayor tweeted. “We are ready for a reopening of stores, businesses, offices, theaters,” he said on the MSNBC channel.

The mayor did not specify exactly what this reopening entailed in terms of lifting the restrictions. He stressed that there was still “work to be done” to meet this target. “The key is to get everyone vaccinated,” he said.

Some 6.4 million doses of the vaccine have already been injected in New York, hit hard by the first wave of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, with some 32,000 deaths from the coronavirus in total.

Some 2.4 million New Yorkers – out of some 8.5 million – are now fully vaccinated, according to city figures. The goal is to reach 5 million by the end of June, said the mayor. “We need to create incentives for vaccination, to make it even more convenient for people,” de Blasio said.

As in other American cities, the rate of vaccination has slowed down in recent weeks, even though vaccination is now open to all people 16 years of age and over, without prior appointment.

The restrictions still in force are mainly the responsibility of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has a particularly difficult relationship with Mr. de Blasio.

Politically weakened by several scandals, Cuomo has relaxed many restrictions in recent weeks, allowing restaurants, stadiums, cinemas and performance venues to reopen, but reception capacities remain limited.

Broadway theaters, one of New York’s top tourist attractions, remain closed. The mayor, who recently announced a major campaign to revive tourism from June, admitted Thursday that they would remain so until September, except “some more intimate theaters”.

Despite the vaccination campaign and the significant drop in the COVID-19 positivity rate, a majority of office workers continue to work from home, and the large New York business districts remain far from their pre-pandemic animation .

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