De Blasio and Cuomo clash over reopening the city

Governor projects earlier return to normalcy than mayor’s July 1 plan

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty)

New York City will surely reopen. The question is when.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that businesses will be able to reopen at full capacity July 1, bringing an end to lockdown restrictions that have been in place for more than a year now.

“We are ready to bring New York City back fully on July 1, all systems go, because you’ve earned it,” de Blasio said. “This is going to be the summer of New York City.”

But, as usual, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had more to say.

“I don’t want to wait that long,” Cuomo said when asked about the plan. Still, the governor did not say when a full reopening would come, suggesting that officials need to continue examining the data.

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Cuomo additionally likened the pandemic response to a war.

“We watch it everyday,” Cuomo said. “As the enemy moves, we move”

The city has been gradually easing restrictions on businesses for months. The midnight curfew for restaurants will end on May 17 for outdoor dining and May 31 for indoor dining. Offices, stadiums and other facilities will similarly see their capacity limits raised in May.

Restaurants, however, continue to operate at 50 percent capacity in the city and 75 percent capacity in the rest of the state.

De Blasio has shown an eagerness to return to normalcy in other ways. In March, his administration mandated that municipal employees return to their physical offices May 3.