New York City will begin the first phase of its reopening process Monday, June 8. Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed the date proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier this week.
"[These businesses] were chosen because you can create physical separation," said Mayor de Blasio. "That's a lot of employees coming back to work ... we want to emphasize safety throughout. We say 'restart' — we do not mean rushing back to something we used to think of as normal. We do not mean flicking a switch and suddenly everything is where it was again. We have to make sure this virus is in check. We've come a long way, not going to blow it now."
Gov. Cuomo said he planned to have the city open on June 8th, last week, contradicting de Blasio, who said a date had not been determined at that time.
“It is reopening to a new normal. It’s a safer normal. Reopening doesn’t mean going back to the past,” Cuomo explained. “People will be wearing masks. It’s just a new way of interacting, which we have to do.”
De Blasio says that New York City will be giving out 2 million free masks to employees returning to work during phase 1.