June 18, 2020 / 2:35 PM / 18 days ago

New York City to enter phase two of reopening on June 22: mayor

FILE PHOTO: New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio speaks to the media during a press conference In the Queens borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City will begin phase two of reopening on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday, citing continued improvements in coronavirus data.

Offices, in-store retail, outdoor dining, hair salons and barbershops are among the businesses allowed to reopen their doors during phase two.

“We’ve seen consistent progress and it is time to say to everyone get ready for phase two,” de Blasio told a daily news conference.

De Blasio signed an executive order on Thursday launching the “Open Restaurants” initiative that will allow restaurants, cafes and bars that serve food to apply to utilize certain spaces like sidewalks for outdoor dining.

Backyard and patio seating will also be allowed. De Blasio said the initiative will help an estimated 5,000 restaurants and save some 45,000 jobs.

The mayor also announced that playgrounds will reopen on Monday across the city.

Reporting by Maria Caspani, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis

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