Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed today that NYC would be moving into phase four of reopening next week — but malls and museums are remaining shut for now.
Shopping centers, including upscale developments like Columbus Circle and Hudson Yards, were originally scheduled to reopen as part of phase four, but the mayor says that there are too many health concerns with indoor facilities to reopen malls and museums at this time. More low risk operations, including movie and T.V. production and sports games without audiences, will still move forward with reopening on Monday.
Upscale restaurants located inside NYC’s malls, including Per Se at Columbus Circle and Kawi at Hudson Yards, have been shuttered for nearly six months as pandemic restrictions have yet to lift on these spaces. Some restaurants, like Jose Andres’ Mercado Little Spain, have set up to-go windows with street access at Hudson Yards in an attempt to stay open through the crisis.
Vendors at other indoor food courts, including Chelsea Market, have also set up outdoor takeout windows to reach customers while the indoor spaces are still on lockdown.
The decision to stall mall and museum reopenings follows a similar move that the mayor made to postpone the start of indoor dining earlier this month. Restaurants and bars in NYC were originally scheduled to start indoor dining with limited capacity during phase three of reopening, but both the city and the state said that it was too dangerous to public health. Other cities across the country have shut down restaurants and bars again after originally allowing indoor dining and then seeing subsequent spikes in new COVID-19 cases.