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More Mixed Messages: Gov. Cuomo Says NYC On Track For Phase 2 Reopening Monday, But Mayor De Blasio Pumps The Breaks

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many people in New York City are looking forward to Phase 2 on the road to reopening from the coronavirus pandemic.

But, as CBS2’s Dave Carlin found out Wednesday, not everyone is clear on the rules.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s big, happy announcement earlier in the day about New York City was deflated by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said, “We’ll see.”

It was another mixed message to add to months of them.

The governor said the Big Apple has earned Phase 2 reopening next Monday, adding the metrics are right for another turn of the valve and to pull off padlocks for office jobs coming back, plus real estate, in-salon haircuts and in-store shopping.

Diners can return to restaurant tables, outside and with restrictions.

The governor’s message to a seemingly hesitant Mayor de Blasio is just do it.

“We don’t change the rules for New York City,” Cuomo said Wednesday. “The same metrics we use in New York City are the same metrics we’ve used in every region across the state.”

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The mayor, however, said maybe yes, maybe no to Phase 2.

“The earliest we could go is Monday,” de Blasio said.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

De Blasio said he’s worried weeks of crowded protests could spike cases and set the city back.

“We are watching to see how these things are affecting the reality,” de Blasio said. “We still need a few more days to confirm that we’re ready to go to Phase 2.”

The mayor said he’s managing expectations, but is seen by critics as sputtering and halting.

“Be clear, mayor!” was the cry of some Upper West Side parents with rambunctious son, Luka, who needs more to do.

“Our kids really don’t have an outlet, obviously,” Ames Astronomo said.

The mayor appears to lack any firm plan, said Emile Akleh, the owner of Sido restaurant on Columbus Avenue.

“It is incumbent upon the mayor to inform us,” Akleh said.

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“They need to give clear direction to restaurateurs here so they can get back to business,” City Council member Helen Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal and other elected leaders spoke to a small group of restaurant owners on Columbus Avenue, telling them they deserve better.

“The date keeps switching, the rules keep changing,” said Philip Scotti, owner of P.J. Clarke’s restaurant.

Scotti said he is inclined to open on Monday no matter what, arguing what the governor says goes.

“We are desperate to get our employees back to work. We are desperate to make a little bit of money if we can,” Scotti said.

Many want to know what the city will do to help create more outdoor dining space.

“There’s a lot of different options on the table, and we intend to put out a policy very, very soon,” de Blasio said.

They are pleading with Mayor de Blasio to not make the plans for Monday erasable. They want him to put the date down firmly, in ink.

Watch Alice Gainer’s report —

One definitive the mayor gave Wednesday — playgrounds will remain closed despite calls from parents and Council Speaker Corey Johnson to open them now.

In previous days, chains have been broken by local lawmakers and others in defiance of the order.

“I think that they should be opened back up,” one child said.

“As parents, we can be careful in making sure they wash their hands and social distance and everything but especially an outdoor activity, it’s a shame. We’re really ready for them to be open again,” parent Fahimeh Sasan said.

“The second we open up playgrounds, I think it’s a safe bet they’ll be filled 10 hours or more a day, every day,” de Blasio said.

The mayor says once Phase 2 hits, they’ll act on playgrounds, saying park space is different than smaller playgrounds packed with little kids.

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