At least 200,000 New Yorkers to return to work in phase one of city’s reopening: mayor

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FILE PHOTO: New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio speaks to people as he gives away face masks for using on public spaces to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Queens borough of New York City, U.S., May 16, 2020 REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

(Reuters) – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday outlined what the first phase of a gradual reopening will look like in the most populous U.S. city, and said he expected between 200,000 and 400,000 people to head back to work during that phase.

De Blasio said he expected the first phase of reopening to be announced in the first or second week of June and it would include four business sectors: construction, manufacturing, wholesale suppliers and non-essential retail.

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“We’re now actually in a position to start talking about opening things up, step by step, phase by phase,” he said at a daily briefing.

Next week the city will launch a series of initiatives to help businesses navigate reopening, including industry guides and a “business restart hotline,” the mayor said.

Authorities will monitor business compliance with reopening guidance by conducting random visits, and de Blasio said violators will be subject to summons in ‘egregious circumstances.’

Reporting by Maria Caspani, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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