For the first time in more than three months, New Yorkers can go shopping, dine outside and get haircuts, as the city lifted more coronavirus restrictions.
New York City moved into Phase 2 of its reopening Monday, the last region in New York state to do so. Residents celebrated their growing freedom with trips to stores and outdoor cafes.
Playgrounds also reopened, and office workers were allowed to return to their desks, although many still have not. Some of the city’s largest corporations are continuing to let many of their employees work remotely.
New York City was once the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, but cases of the virus are now on the decline. COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has killed over 22,000 New Yorkers. During the worst days of the outbreak, the city was losing more than 1,000 lives a day. In recent days, the death toll has been in the single digits or low double digits, according to city data.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would dine out Monday and has said the latest reopening is particularly important for the restaurant industry, which he called “so much the identity of New York City.”
While cases of the virus in New York City are trending downward, cases in about a dozen U.S. states have spiked.
The outbreaks have led New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to consider ordering travelers from high-transmission states to self-quarantine for two weeks. That is a reversal from earlier this year when some states, including Florida, put quarantine restrictions on travelers from New York.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused more than 2.3 million confirmed cases in the United States and more than 120,000 deaths.