July 17, 2020 By Allie Griffin
New York City is on track to begin Phase IV of the state’s reopening plan Monday — but indoor businesses that were slated to reopen as part of the phase will remain shuttered.
Indoor malls, museums, aquariums and other cultural centers will not reopen Monday, despite their initial inclusion in Phase IV, both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo said. Indoor dining, which was originally set for Phase III reopening, will remain shut.
“We are moving forward with Phase IV on Monday,” de Blasio said this morning, although “with some specific approaches and modifications.”
Low-risk outdoor entertainment, such as zoos and botanical gardens, will reopen Monday as planned, but with a reduced capacity.
Professional sports without an audience and media production will also resume Monday.
The governor and mayor rejected the reopening of indoor activities, noting that the number of COVID-19 cases were skyrocketing in areas where indoor dining has been permitted.
“Indoors is where we have concerns,” de Blasio said.
“We’ve got to strike a balance and we’ve got time to look at the evidence, watch what’s happening around the country, watch what’s happening here in this city, and make further decisions on some of these pieces.”
Gov. Cuomo confirmed that New York City has been cleared to enter Phase IV on Monday in a Tweet this afternoon.
NYC has been cleared to enter Phase 4 of reopening, starting Monday, July 20.
Phase 4 will not include indoor activity in malls, restaurants or cultural institutions at this point.
I’m so proud of what New Yorkers have done. But we must continue to be on alert.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 17, 2020
Earlier this month, the pair announced that indoor dining — which was slated to reopen with Phase III businesses on July 6 — had been postponed indefinitely.
De Blasio said indoor dining — which he called “very high risk” — will not reopen anytime soon.
Schools and higher education may also reopen in Phase IV — though public schools must meet additional requirements set by the state and many colleges have already announced they will resume classes online only in the fall.
The mayor applauded how far New York City has come since shutting down in March, but urged New Yorkers to stay disciplined.
“We’ve got to keep bringing this city back, but that’s going to take all of us playing our part.”