New York City will begin the first phase of its reopening process Monday, June 8. Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed the date proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier this week.

Bill de Blasio, NYC, ReopeningScott Heins / Getty Images

"[These businesses] were chosen because you can create physical separation," said Mayor de Blasio. "That's a lot of employees coming back to work ... we want to emphasize safety throughout. We say 'restart' — we do not mean rushing back to something we used to think of as normal. We do not mean flicking a switch and suddenly everything is where it was again. We have to make sure this virus is in check. We've come a long way, not going to blow it now."

Gov. Cuomo said he planned to have the city open on June 8th, last week, contradicting de Blasio, who said a date had not been determined at that time.

“It is reopening to a new normal. It’s a safer normal. Reopening doesn’t mean going back to the past,” Cuomo explained. “People will be wearing masks. It’s just a new way of interacting, which we have to do.”

De Blasio says that New York City will be giving out 2 million free masks to employees returning to work during phase 1.

[Via]