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NEW YORK CITY — The MTA’s expanded overnight subway service begins on Monday as New York City slowly reopens and loosens COVID-19 restrictions.

Trains will run daily from 4 a.m. to 2 a.m., then close for two hours for cleaning.

In an unprecedented move last May, 24-hour subway service was shut down nightly between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. to allow transit workers to clean and disinfect trains as the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed the city and state.

Nearly a year later, and as the surge in the number of cases and hospitalization has slowed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state-run agency was prepared to gradually resume normal service.

The service expansion coincides with other reopenings in New York City, including indoor dining at restaurants as well as sports and music events at large stadiums and arenas.

While New Yorkers have made great strides in slowing the spread of the virus, MTA chairman and CEO Pat Foye said the two-hour shutdown overnight is still needed to ensure trains and stations are safely disinfected.

“The continued partial suspension will allow for the most aggressive disinfection regimen in MTA history, as recommended by federal and international public health authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control, Environmental Protection Agency and World Health Organization,” Foye said in a statement Sunday.