New York City could ease coronavirus quarantine from June 8 says Governor Cuomo

29 May 2020, 19:57

New York could begin reopening on June 8, Mr Cuomo announced
New York could begin reopening on June 8, Mr Cuomo announced. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

New York City could begin reopening on June 8 with five upstate areas expected to introduce even broader measures, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Mr Cuomo announced today that he expected New York to meet benchmarks that will allow it to begin easing quarantine measures within weeks.

During the first phase, nonessential stores could open and nonessential construction, as well as manufacturing, will resume again.

During the announcement via video, Mr Cumo said: “We know where the hot spots are in the city, we want to focus on them next week, be ready to open.

“We’re on track to open on June 8, which is one week from Monday.

"Remember that reopening does not mean we’re going back to the way things work. It’s going to be different.

“It’s reopening to a new safer normal. People will be wearing masks and socially distanced. It’s just a new way of interacting, which is what we have to do.”

Mr Cuomo added that five upstate areas were cleared to enter the second phase of reopening.

Writing on Twitter, he said: "Five regions will now enter Phase 2 of reopening: North Country, Finger Lakes, Central NY, Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier.

"The data in these regions has been reviewed by county, regional and state officials as well as global experts in virology."

This means offices, stores and barbershops can open, with restrictions.

But New York City is the only part of the US state that has not met all seven health-related benchmarks that is required for the first phase of reopening.

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As of Wednesday, the city did not have enough hospital beds available.

Mayor Bill de Blasio also joined the Governor and said the city and state were confident of the progress being made.

He said: "When I talked to the people of the city this morning, I told them the indicators were absolutely moving in the right direction.

"But the key to getting to the point of definition for Phase One came from the collaboration to get on the same page and make sure we were confident that this was the right time to do it.”

The city has been under of the strictest lockdowns in the US since March. It has also been one of the hardest-hit places in America.

Nonessential businesses have been closed and restaurants are only available for delivery.

The measures have cost the city nearly 900,000 jobs, so far.

Mr Cuomo said Phase One could see 400,000 employees returning to work.

In another confidence-boosting development on Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange reopened its trading floor on Tuesday for the first time since mid-March, when it closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo rang the opening bell at the NYSE, which allowed a limited number of traders back to the floor.

It required that traders adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear masks.