People practice social distancing in white circles in Domino Park in Williamsburg during the coronavirus pandemic on May 17, 2020 in New York City.
Noam Galai | Getty Images
New York City is scheduled to begin its phase three reopening as early as July 6, which would reopen restaurants for indoor service and additional personal care businesses with reduced capacity, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday.
Phase three reopening would allow various recreational areas throughout the city, including basketball, tennis and volleyball courts to operate, de Blasio said at his daily press briefing.
Additional personal care businesses like nail salons, spas, massage parlors and tattoo and piercing facilities would be allowed to return, according to New York state’s reopening guidelines.
New York City began its phase two reopening on Monday, which allowed for in-store shopping at retail stores, visits to hair salons and barbershops and outdoor restaurant dining with health modifications and reduced capacity. On Tuesday, de Blasio announced on Twitter that the city’s beaches would be allowed to return on July 1.
The city and the state have reported a steady decline in hospitalizations and positive Covid-19 cases for weeks. On Tuesday, around 2% of tests conducted citywide came back positive, de Blasio said. On Thursday, de Blasio announced that the city would begin offering free antibody testing to residents at 11 health and hospital facilities throughout the area.
“Now we got work to do to get there. Let’s keep on it,” he said.
New York state reported less than 1,000 hospitalizations on Thursday, the first time since the outbreak began, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. There were 996 hospitalized Covid-19 patients in the state as of Wednesday, down from a peak of approximately 18,825 hospitalizations on April 12, according to Cuomo’s office.
As New York City slowly begins to reopen businesses after months of lockdown orders that have shuttered their doors, visitors from some states with rising cases have been ordered to quarantine upon arrival.
On Wednesday, Cuomo, alongside New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, ordered travelers from eight states with spiking Covid-19 infections rates to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. He said the fines for violating the order will be $2,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second and up to $10,000 if they cause harm.
“We worked very hard to get the viral transmission rate down. We don’t want to see it go up because a lot of people come into this region and they can literally bring the infection with them,” Cuomo said at a news conference.
The economic toll from the Covid-19 outbreak has been evident in New York City, once considered the nation’s epicenter. On Wednesday, de Blasio said the city may have to lay off or furlough 22,000 municipal employees this fall to plug holes in the city’s budget.
“We’re going to have to make these layoffs,” de Blasio said. “It’s a last resort.”