NEW YORK — New York City is currently on track to enter Phase 3 as early as July 6, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.
After seeing positive health indicators and data showing progress in the city’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the mayor said he was glad to see “good news.”
“New Yorkers have done a great job through Phase 1 into Phase 2,” de Blasio said.
“Phase 3 can start as early as Monday, July 6, and right now, we are on track.”
More guidance on how Phase 3 will look in the city is expected to be issued on Friday, he said.
The mayor said being able to move to Phase 3 is an important step forward as people are going to get their lives back, noting over 1 million New Yorkers lost their job since February.
However, the mayor said the city is “not out of the woods” in the COVID battle, and Dr. Jay Varma noted “there are no guarantees” that the virus will be kept out of NYC. People need to remain disciplined in social distancing, hygiene and having face coverings, officials reminded.
De Blasio also said the city and health officials are constantly watching the data, so if NYC needs to freeze or even retract the reopening phases, it will be done.
Under Phase 3, indoor dining at 50% capacity, nail salons and personal care business can resume. Mayor de Blasio also said the city can reopen and resume outdoor sports and recreation, including basketball and tennis courts, soccer fields and dog runs.
The city, which was once considered the epicenter of the virus, has made great strides in fighting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Daily indicators showed 60 new COVID-related hospitalizations and for those who were tested for the virus, only 2% tested positive.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state as a whole reported 996 hospitalizations, dropping below 1,000 hospitalizations for the first time since March 18.
On Wednesday, Cuomo was joined by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont to issue a travel advisory for anyone traveling to the tri-state area from states with high COVID cases.
People traveling from states with a high transmission rate of coronavirus will need to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine or face hefty fines.
The advisory also applies to tri-state area residents who are traveling back to their home state from areas with a high rate of transmission.