Some people are returning to work ….
This while other parts of the country are seeing increases in infections….
Thousands of New York workers returned to their offices Monday as they city graduated to Phase 2, the next step in rebuilding an economy abruptly shut down more than three months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.
City officials said they expected 150,000 to 300,000 workers, many from Long Island, to return to offices in Manhattan and other boroughs Monday. Restaurants and bars began offering outdoor dining Monday, two weeks after the city took its first steps toward easing COVID-19 restrictions imposed in mid-March, while barber shops and salons began providing haircuts to patrons who had become shaggy while sheltering in place this spring.
“Phase 1 was a big deal,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday during his daily news briefing. “Phase 2 is really a giant step for this city. This is where most of our economy is.”
De Blasio acknowledged Monday New York streets and subways will remain far less crowded than they did before the pandemic because many companies are taking a wait-and-see approach and encouraging employees to continue to work from home.
“I think what you are going to see is evolution,” de Blasio said Monday during his daily news briefing.
The mayor said the real rush back to offices will probably not begin until the fall.
“There will be some hesitation at first,” de Blasio said. “There will be some watchful waiting. People will want to make sure it really works, people want to make sure they are comfortable with it. The economy will start to come back and the more people see it is working, the more people will want to come back.”
De Blasio said he was encouraged by a recent surge in mass transit ridership and traffic. He said subway ridership was up 29% Thursday, compared to June 4. Bus ridership increased 22%. Traffic into Manhattan over East River bridges jumped 24%, while traffic over Harlem River bridges was up 10%.
Long Island Rail Road weekday ridership has reisen to 15% of normal levels, up from a low of 3% at the height of the pandemic, MTA officials said….