Two months after New York City was placed under lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, residents and future visitors are wondering when the city they know and love is likely to return.
Currently, as the curve continues to flatten, the city’s non-essential businesses remain closed, with the majority of restaurants, bars, and tourist destinations still shuttered.
Once New York City’s five boroughs meet the guidelines, they will eventually be allowed to reopen – slowly.
On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he expects the city to reach the first benchmark by 1 June, however, as of today, New York City has only reached four of the state’s seven metrics.
This is when New York City restaurants, tourism and shopping and hotels are likely to reopen.
When will New York City’s bars and restaurants be allowed to reopen?
According to Mr de Blasio, restaurants are considered phase three of New York City’s reopening plan, with phase one businesses such as construction set to reopen first.
Once the city has reached a certain phase, two weeks must pass before it is able to advance to the next phase of reopening.
As Eater points out, “since restaurants are phase three, it would take at least one month after meeting the initial criteria to see the return of sit-down dining. So theoretically: If construction businesses launched in New York on 15 June, the first sit-down dining wouldn’t occur until 15 July.”
In the past few weeks, many New York City restaurants and bars have reopened for delivery and takeout options.
When will stores reopen?
While New Yorkers and visitors to the city will likely have to wait more than a month before restaurants reopen, shopping, limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off, will be allowed under phase one of the reopening , according to the New York Forward plan – meaning it could be allowed as early as June.
Under phase two of the plan, in-store shopping will be possible.
If the city does reach phase one by 1 June and numbers remain down, residents could expect stores to open their doors to customers by mid-June.
Under Governor Cuomo’s plan, arts and entertainment, listed under phase four, will be the last to reopen – meaning theatre-lovers have a while to wait before Broadway shows will be back.
According to the Broadway League, people can expect shows to be cancelled at least through Labor Day on 7 September.
“While all Broadway shows would love to resume performances as soon as possible, we need to ensure the health and well-being of everyone who comes to the theatre – behind the curtain and in front of it – before shows can return,” Broadway League president Charlotte St Martin said this week in a statement.
The theatres are continuing to offer ticket holders refunds and exchanges.
In April, Bloomberg reported that the Empire State Building’s landlord said the building’s observatory deck, a popular tourist site, will reopen mid-July.
Alexandra Chernin, a spokesperson for Empire State Realty Trust, told USAToday the observatory has plans to reopen “at reduced capacity with social distancing as soon as allowed by authorities.”
As of now, the observatory deck of the World Trade Center does not have an official reopening date, with a spokesperson telling the outlet it is evaluating its plans and “will have more certainty in the coming weeks on an official opening date.”
The city’s museums are also still closed, and will not reopen until phase four.
Currently, Times Square is open to walk through, however, all of the stores and most of the restaurants in the usually bustling city centre are still shut.
When will hotels reopen?
Hotels are not listed on the governor’s reopening plan, however, many of New York City’s nearly 700 hotels are tentatively planning to reopen mid-summer.
“The property looks forward to welcoming guests later this summer,” a Hilton spokesperson told The New York Post in March regarding the city’s largest hotel, the Hilton New York Midtown.
Richard Born, who operates New York hotels including the 618-room Wellington Hotel, the 665-room Pod Times Square and the 600-room Watson Hotel, told the outlet they will be taking reservations starting 1 July “based on the curve this virus has taken in other countries.”
However, according to Vijay Dandapani, the president and CEO of the Hotel Association of New York, the industry’s reopening will likely be based on expected visitors, with Dandapani telling The Post “it hinges on how international and domestic travel pick up, how the tech companies react to this” but that luxury hotels for leisure travel guests will probably not open until “August or September”.
According to Dandapani, the reopening of the luxury hotels hinges on guests coming to New York to be able to see the sites – which remain shut.