In the race to reopen, New York is about to leave the Garden State in the dust.

With COVID-19 vaccinations on the rise and hospitalizations on the decline, New York City will be fully open on July 1 if Mayor Bill de Blasio gets his way.

Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday, the Democrat said that with over 6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Wednesday that number will grow, combined with a decrease in hospitalizations clears the way for a full reopening.

"Our plan is to fully reopen New York City on July First. We are ready for stores to open. For businesses to open. Offices. Theaters. Full strength," De Blasio said.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is not neat a full reopening of the state, only setting a goal of having 4.7 million residents vaccinated before considering the removal of restrictions on gathering and crowd sizes.

The Big Apple mayor said the city is well below the threshold set to allow a full reopening, adding that people need to be continue social distancing measures to ensure that the numbers stay low.

"I want people to be smart about the rules we've learned. Use the masks indoor when it makes sense, wash your hands, all the basics," De Blasio said.

The mayor believes life in New York City will return to what it was before the pandemic, making it a destination for tourists once again.

"This is going to be the summer of New York City. You're going to see amazing activities, cultural activities coming back. I think people are going to flock to New York City because they want to live again," De Blasio said.

Major Broadway shows will not return until September, according to the mayor, who said he hopes some smaller shows might be able to open during the summer.

De Blasio acknowledged that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has the final say over the city's reopening plans but believes the data and the science will back his decision. The two have clashed during the pandemic over whether schools should reopen.

"The data and the science are saying out loud 'it's time to come back,'" De Blasio said.

De Blasio was not asked if indoor mask mandates will remain in place. Cuomo said New York State is adopting the CDC's new guidance that fully vaccinated individuals can conduct outdoor activity or gather without wearing a mask.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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