At his press conference today, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced some changes to social distancing practices in the five boroughs. The good news is that the NYPD will no longer arrest you for not wearing a mask. The bad news as that access to parts of Central Park and other NYC green spaces will be limited.
New York's finest had been kicking up a fuss with regards to the former, as they seemed to be disproportionately targeting New Yorkers of color who didn't have face masks or were wearing them improperly. The new, relaxed posture appears to have been a direct result. "We want to make this a positive approach," De Blasio said. "We do not want to revive the mistakes of the past. We think we can strike a balance."
De Blasio also announced that the city will be fielding 2,200 social distancing "ambassadors" and supervisors to enforce (gently, we hope) other regulations along with the police. This will include restrictions to entering Central Park's Sheep Meadow, as well as Piers 45 and 46 at Hudson River Park. Crowds at Domino Park in Brooklyn will also be monitored.
De Blasio made other news regarding the city's upcoming hot mess of a summer, including distributing 74,000 air conditioners to low-income seniors along with scheduled hydrant openings and “misting oases” for some low-income neighborhoods. NYC beaches will remain closed, even though Governor Cuomo has announced the re-opening of state beaches.
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