Offices, restaurants and other small businesses in New York will be able to reopen on Monday, following a consistent drop in infections and deaths.
Current figures allow the city to enter Phase II of its deconfinement, Mayor Bill De Blasio said on Thursday.
The some 27,000 restaurants in the Big Apple will once again be able to serve clients on their terraces, while barbers and hairdressers will be able to open their salons, as long as they work at 50% of capacity. Generally, social distancing and hygiene measures will still apply.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed optimism on Thursday: for a long time, New York had been the epicentre of the epidemic in the United States, but in recent weeks, the number of infections has been declining continuously.
At the height of the crisis, up to 800 people were dying daily. Today, that number has dropped to about two dozen. The reproduction rate of the virus, i.e. the number of persons infected by each person with COVID-19, has now dropped to 0.8, one of the lowest in the United States.