De Blasio 'confident' about outdoor activities under Phase 4, but 'indoor is causing me pause'

Adam Warner
July 16, 2020 - 11:24 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that he expects many outdoor activities to return under Phase 4 of New York City’s reopening, but he’s unsure about indoor activities.

“I think the separation here is between outdoor and indoor,” de Blasio said when asked about Phase 4 at his daily briefing.

Phase 4—the final phase—could happen in the city as soon as this Monday. It 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. 

“I think the outdoor activities can proceed, do make sense. Of course, we need distancing, of course we need face coverings,” de Blasio said. “When you think about the things that are outdoor, that are a part of Phase 4. Obviously, the sports events without audiences, those are already approved. Think about the zoo, think about the botanical gardens. Think about outdoor film and TV production. The outdoor elements I feel good and confident about, so long as we are clear about the standards. And of course, everything needs oversight and enforcement.”

However, de Blasio said, “indoor is causing me pause.”

“The indoor should proceed only with tremendous caution and very strict rules,” the mayor said. “If there’s going to be more indoor, it has to be when we are certain it will work and with really distinct rules about how many people can participate and what precautions.”

“There can’t be a slippery slope there, as we’ve seen indoor is the challenge and we have to be really tight about it,” the mayor added. “So I think there are substantial elements of Phase 4 that can move ahead. Others we have to be very careful about and deliberate about.”

De Blasio said he expected to have more information about Phase 4 as early as later in the day Thursday or sometime Friday.

At his briefing Wednesday, de Blasio also warned Phase 4 in the city could have “a different approach or a different timeline.”

“We’ve got to decide how we feel about the different pieces of Phase 4 and if we’re really ready for Monday,” he said.

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