De Blasio: Phase 4 May Have 'Different Approach,’ ‘Different Timeline’

Adam Warner
July 15, 2020 - 12:41 pm

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    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that the city and state are currently in talks about Phase 4 of New York City’s reopening—and he said a final decision on what Phase 4 might look like should come in the next couple of days.

    The city is eligible to enter Phase 4 in less than a week on Monday, July 20, but the mayor said details of the final phase could be adjusted and it may be delayed altogether.

    “We’ve got to decide how we feel about the different pieces of Phase 4 and if we’re really ready for Monday or a different approach or a different timeline,” de Blasio said at his briefing Wednesday morning. “So we’ll have an update for you in the next 24 to 48 hours.”

    Phase 4 allows for the reopening of the following with restrictions: higher education; pre-K to grade 12 schools; low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment; low-risk indoor arts and entertainment; media production; professional sports competitions without fans; and malls.

    De Blasio said Phase 4 is “a little more complicated for several reasons.”

    “First of all, of course, some of Phase 4 is already spoken for in that, for example, with the sports teams that are starting up without audiences. That’s already been decided by the state,” the mayor said. “Other pieces of Phase 4 have been spoken for the other way. For example, a number of colleges and universities have already announced that they’re not going to do in-person classes or activities.”

    The mayor said that just like indoor dining was prohibited in the city under Phase 3—despite being allowed elsewhere in the state—there could be restrictions on Phase 4 activities in the five boroughs.

    “These phases I think are thoughtful, but they weren’t handed down on stone tablets on a mountaintop. I mean they’re based on what we’re experiencing, and we make adjustments as we go along,” the mayor said. “So we may say for Phase 4, ‘Some things are going to float while we figure out what makes sense.’”

    “I’m not going to be shocked if we have a kind of split situation,” the mayor added. “I’m not going to be shocked if we have a defined timeline for delay or we say, ‘Hey, this piece is just going to have to wait until we get further information.’”

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