People enjoy sunshine at a park near Brooklyn Bridge in New York, the United States, June 15, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
New York City will enter phase two of reopening on June 22, two weeks after it entered the first phase, Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed on Thursday.
"We've seen consistent progress and it is time to say to everyone get ready for phase two," said de Blasio at his daily briefing.
"It's time to move forward, and if anything comes up in the data that's a concern we're going to talk about it publicly," he added.
According to the state's phased reopening plan, hair salons, barbershops, and outdoor dining are among businesses allowed to restart operating in phase two. Some office works can also resume.
Businesses and offices should keep their capacity at 50 percent. Face coverings and social distancing are mandatory, according to the plan.
The mayor said up to 300,000 people are expected to return to work in phase two, on top of some 200,000 to 400,000 workers who went back to work on June 8 when the city entered phase one.
Seven of the state's 10 regions have already been in phase three, while New York City, once the country's epicenter, is the only one still in phase one.
De Blasio's decision followed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's announcement on Wednesday regarding New York City's transitioning to phase two. The mayor was reluctant to give a specific date of the transitioning on Wednesday, citing the potential impact of the sustained mass protests on COVID-19 infections.
As of Thursday, the city has reported 207,821 COVID-19 cases and 17,487 related deaths. It is conducting over 30,000 tests per day citywide and the seven-day rolling positive rate has dropped to around 1 percent, compared with 59 percent some 10 weeks ago when testing capacity was limited and infections were rampant.
Cuomo on Thursday said the state's daily positive rate of COVID-19 testing dropped to a new low at 0.90 percent, down from 0.96 percent a day before.
The governor said at his daily briefing that the spike in COVID-19 cases in Florida has made him consider imposing a 14-day self-quarantine for people who travel to New York from the southeastern state.
"I haven't made a decision yet, but I have had experts advise me of that. It is a real concern," said Cuomo.
Florida currently has over 85,000 cases, with over 2,600 cases confirmed on Wednesday, according to the NBC News.
Meanwhile, New York state confirmed 618 cases on Wednesday, bringing the state total to 385,760, according to the state government.