New York City is working on how to reopen bars and restaurants, Mayor de Blasio says

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Mayor Bill de Blasio greets healthcare workers and conducts a press conference at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, New York, April 10, 2020.

EuropaNewswire | Gado | Getty Images

New York City is in the process of figuring out when and how to reopen restaurants and bars safely with public health measures, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.  

While the city has yet to meet all the requirements to begin phase 1 of reopening, de Blasio said “there’s a lot of excitement about this possibility.”

“We are looking very intensely at what we can do with bars and restaurants, but again with a safety-first attitude,” he said at a news briefing.

As of Wednesday, the city has met five out of seven health indicators outlined by the state for reopening, which includes the percentage of available hospital beds and a 14-day decline in net hospitalizations. New York state is examining the data on a regional basis and must meet all seven to begin a phased reopening. 

City officials have previously said they are hopeful in starting the first phase of reopening in the first half of June, which would allow construction to resume and retailers to reopen with some restrictions. 

“We are very much in the safety-first, health-first approach. We’re going to figure out how and when we can reopen bars and restaurants and how much outdoors is going to play a crucial role in that,” de Blasio said.

He added that outdoor spaces are a “very encouraging possibility” but there’s a lot of work that needs to be done with enforcing social distancing, face coverings and other health protocols. 

This is a developing story. Check back here for updates.

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