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Society

De Blasio Says New York City Will “Fully Reopen” by July 1

NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday he expects to see COVID-19 restrictions lifted and the city "fully reopen" by July 1.

"We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength," the Democratic mayor said on MSNBC. 

De Blasio cited rising COVID-19 vaccination rates and decreasing hospitalization rates for his optimistic projection. About half of all adults in the city have now had at least one vaccine dose.

"What we can say with assurance is, we're giving COVID no room to run in New York City," de Blasio said.

The mayor doesn't have unilateral power to lift remaining pandemic restrictions. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has maintained throughout the pandemic that decisions on when restaurants, theaters, offices and other places can open at full capacity are his alone.

Asked about the governor's role, de Blasio told the hosts of "Morning Joe" that the state and federal governments "always have a say" but added, "What I'm saying is we here in New York City, we're ready to come back and come back strong."

Asked whether the July 1 reopening was a definite plan or a goal, de Blasio spokesperson Bill Neidhardt said in an email, "It's a plan/goal. Many details to work out in the months between."

De Blasio said the goal for Broadway theaters is still to open fully in September. He said he hopes some smaller productions can open by July.

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