Just hours after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the normalization of economic activities and recreational activities in the Big Apple, set for July 1, Governor Andrew Cuomo moved that date forward to May 19, an announcement that comes after a year of great restrictions by the coronavirus pandemic, and that this Tuesday already woke up some compliments and strong questioning.
The Ombudsman from New York City Jumanee Williams, who on other occasions has stood up to the reopening decisions for fear of outbreaks of contagion that will force new closures as has happened in European cities, criticized that “our leaders have not yet learned key lessons about clarity of message and precaution in health measures ”.
The official argues that the Governor’s announcement, which would go into effect in two weeks, undermines the Mayor’s July 1 goal, announced a few days ago, and appears designed to “To and from the Governor.”
“The promulgation of new measures at short notice, without clear scientific data, presented as justification, suggests that these decisions are guided by politics rather than public health. Only when the science of safety cues, like restarting Subway 24-hour service, can these reopens be celebrated. “
Williams looks like that “soon” to lift most of the restrictions and urged the State Administration to review them.
Cuomo: We can!
But Governor Cuomo confirmed that his plans are moving forward.
“It is easier than ever to get the vaccine. As the vaccination rate increases and the infection rate decreases, we can speed up reopening. While the light at the end of the tunnel has never been brighter, this war encourages New Yorkers to keep doing the things we know to stop COVID-19 in its tracks “he stressed in his daily update on the pandemic.
The Mayor De Blasio, who in previous situations has publicly confronted the Governor’s decisions in handling the pandemic, so far has not emitted any reaction. He only limited himself to complimenting the reactivation of the Subway 24 hours a day.
Also some public health experts warned that officials could be taking too great a risk by opening so widely, given the lagged vaccination rates among some age groups and in certain parts of the city, and the spread of vmost contagious agents of COVID-19.
In New York City, the 39% of adults were fully vaccinated and the 54% had received at least one dose as of this Monday.
The Dr. Denis Nash, epidemiologist of the City University of New York, quoted by The New York Times, He cautioned that the city’s vaccination rates do not yet support a full reopening.
“It just seems badly thought out and almost a bit reckless. Vaccine coverage remains low among some vulnerable groups. The city could see peaks again in hospitalizations and deaths ”, the scientist pointed out.
Some economic sectors, such as restaurants and bars, who have suffered the ups and downs of economic restrictions due to the public health emergency, as was foreseeable they did not take long to celebrate.
“This decision sends an injection of optimism to the restaurant industry because we are going in the right direction, but until the social distancing requirements are removed, the 100 percent occupancy. But we celebrate this step, ”said Andrew Rigie, president of the NYC Hospitality Alliance.
In the last hours, the Broadway League which brings together thousands of workers from the musical and theater industry applauded the Governor’s recent announcement.
“We hope to reopen in full capacity and we are working to welcome safely to the public and employees in our theaters this fall, “they said in a statement.
The city of New York with the expectation of the ‘return to the new normal’ on hot days begins to wake up from months of lethargy, but workers in certain areas of entertainment such as the Peruvian ‘José’ that every day he puts himself in the skin of Captain America in Times Square cannot wait any longer for the time when the vitality of the tourists returns to the ‘Crossroads of the World’.
“In recent weeks we have seen a certain movement of visitors, but from neighboring states. We had dead months. But we already see that with the vaccine and the protection measures, little by little we will return. Open everything and you will see that there will be more positive points than negative points, “said who added an additional” shield “to his character: a mask.
The Puerto Rican Rogers Bronco, 57, is betting that with the responsibility of the people in this new stage, New York will wake up “with everything”.
“There are vaccines available for everyone. He who does not wear them is because he does not feel like it. So why stop the beautiful days that are to come. The best thing that can happen to us is that the economy reactivates. May this city return when before with its activities. The people who are locked up suffer more without being able to do anything ”, the islander reacted excitedly while enjoying the good weather in the heart of Manhattan.
In a diametrically opposite way, the Dominican retiree Julia Santeliz, 60, who lives in the Upper Manhattan he fears that opening in such an accelerated way “is worse.”
“My family lived it in Madrid. With the heat and the bars open, people are going to go crazy. Of course we have the vaccine whose effectiveness is being tested. Hopefully we will not have to hear in a few months news, that they have to close again“Commented the Quisqueyana.
In detail: What changes on May 19?
- The city’s restaurants, which will already reach the 75% of its capacity on May 7, will be able to reopen their full dining rooms for the first time since March 2020, provided they can maintain six feet away between the tables.
- The curfew will end on may 17th for cookouts and the may 31 for meals indoors.
- Entertainment centers with access policies to fully vaccinated people, they do not have to abide by the 6 foot rule.
- The places can reserve areas or admissions for fully vaccinated people, a potential incentive for New Yorkers to get their doses.
- It will also allow shops, gyms, beauty salons, offices and “family entertainment businesses” reach 100% capacity.
- In theory, Broadway theaters will also be able to reopen on May 19, but they won’t, because it takes time to set up. a production and sell the tickets.
- Only the big ones outdoor stadiums they will continue to have capacity restrictions, set at 33%.
- The Subway will resume 24-hour service, coinciding with the end of the curfew for bars and restaurants whose workforce had few options to get home between hours. 2:00 and 4:00 in the morning.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.