According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City can fully reopen starting July 1st. As of May 1st, the city has already administered more than 6 million doses of the Covid vaccine and more than a third of the city’s adult population has already been vaccinated. Business owners are hopeful as many businesses have already shut the doors while the remainder continues to struggle to survive through the pandemic.
New York City has been shut down since March 2020 when it became the epicenter of the pandemic. Businesses that can fully reopen include restaurants, gyms and hair salons. Broadway theaters are expected to reopen in September and schools are expected to reopen 100% in the fall. It is still uncertain if the mask mandates will remain in place during the summer.
Governor Cuomo stated that he would like the city to reopen sooner if possible. The governor and the mayor have been at odds throughout the pandemic with each one expressing their own views and beliefs on when the city should reopen and at what capacity. However, neither have laid out specific details on the reopening nor did they specify Covid precautions after the reopening.
The specifics of a Broadway reopening, such as mask criteria, testing, and evidence of vaccination, are still unknown. Via the NY PopsUp project, several Broadway theatres have reopened their doors for one-off shows, allowing venues to test certain protocols on a smaller scale.
Just a few Broadway shows have set unique dates for their return in 2021. Other series, such as Six, which was set to debut on the day the theater’s closure started, have begun to tease reopening announcements, with more information on the way.
Broadway shows would almost certainly take longer to return, as they depend on much larger audiences, casts, and rehearsal time. The Broadway League has not announced an official reopening date, and individual producers have yet to announce dates for their return performances. However, some predict that shows will begin after Labor Day, around the time of the 2020 Tony Awards.
As the city recovers, many are not sure what the landscape will look like for businesses in New York City. According to city data, many residents have moved out during the pandemic. Only time will tell if things will ever get back to normal.