New York
A health care worker helps people check-in for appointments to receive the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine outside Citi Field, the home stadium of MLB's New York Mets, during the coronavirus disease pandemic in the Queens borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 10, 2021. Image Credit: Reuters

New York: New York City is moving to fully reopen July 1 with arenas, gyms, stores, restaurants and hair salons returning, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

“We can go back to full strength,” de Blasio said Thursday morning during an interview on MSNBC. “We’re ready to take that pathway to a full reopening.”

New York locked down almost completely as the pandemic descended upon the most populous US city last March, with schools closing and non-essential businesses forced to shut. The city has been embarking on a slow step-by-step comeback as infection rates have eased, accelerated by the advent of vaccinations. The mayor has set a goal of 5 million people fully vaccinated by the end of June.

The city’s all-important tourism industry has also shown signs of recovering as hotel occupancy rates rise slowly.

“This is going to be the summer of New York City,” de Blasio said.