New York State lifted almost all remaining restrictions related to Covid on Tuesday, 15 months after a furious pandemic that forced America’s largest city to an unprecedented shutdown decimated its small businesses and claimed the lives of more than 33,000 of its inhabitants.
Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, announced the stop at a rising ceremony at One World Trade Center – the skyscraper rebuilt after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks – that was destined to have the feel of a statement from victory after a long war.
“Remember June 15, remember today!” Because it’s the day New York is resurrected again, ”Cuomo said.
New York made its decision the same day that California, another Covid devastation center, also lifted most of the restrictions. The two states did so after the proportion of adults who had at least one dose of vaccine exceeded the 70 percent mark recommended by public health authorities as a threshold for taking preventive measures.
As a result, masks and restrictions on social distance that have governed everyday life in two of the most populous states in the United States for more than a year will no longer be sent to restaurants, cinemas, shops, sporting events, nightclubs. work and other premises. Or, as Cuomo said, “We can now come back to life as we know it.”
Masks will always be required for public transportation since this is regulated by federal rules.
The moves coincided with other green shoots of recovery. A survey released by the Business Roundtable showed that confidence among America’s top executives had reached near-record levels between the first and second quarters of the year. Its members expect the U.S. economy to grow 5 percent this year, in addition to previous forecasts of 3.7 percent, and a jump in employment and investment.
New York City has been shifting toward normalcy since then the darkest days of the pandemic more than a year ago, when life was in a mysterious state and the lament of the mermaids – many dragging Covid patients into overcrowded hospitals – filled the air.
The reopening of New York and California comes despite a slowing down national vaccination campaign, with the inoculation rate in some states falling significantly behind others. In Wyoming, Louisiana and Alabama, less than half of the adult population had a dose, and home rates were above the national average.
US deaths attributed to Covid-19 exceeded 600,000 Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
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As new infections dwindle in New York, those restaurants that haven’t failed will fill up again. The apartment rental business has grown in the last two months, albeit with reduced rents, and the city’s cultural life has begun to pick up. Tickets are on sale for Broadway shows, one of New York’s largest tourist attractions, which will reopen in September.
But the return of workers to the city’s office towers, particularly in Midtown Manhattan, has been slow. Only 20.7 percent of workers did so, according to data from Kastle Systems, the office’s security company. This has raised questions about the viability of commercial neighborhoods in a new era of remote work.
Many banks have ordered their employees to return to their desks in the coming weeks, and many executives believe that the office, the city’s economy center, substantially echoing from September.
Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, a group of employers, said Tuesday’s announcement was “the green light that employers were waiting for to bring employees back to the workplace.”