Coronavirus News: Social Distancing Concerns for Subways, MTA Services Once NYC Begins to Reopen

NEW YORK (WABC) — As New York City still waits to enter Phase 1 of reopening, there is still no plan announced on how exactly people are supposed to socially distance themselves on the subway.

Some people are anxious to get back to work.

Protestors gathered outside a tanning salon on Staten Island that reopened prematurely Thursday.

Police shut the Sunbelievable salon down within minutes, but the owner made his point with New York city the only region still not in Phase 1.

Mayor Bill de Blasio estimates that this could happen in the next two weeks sending an estimated 200,000-400,000 people back into the workforce.

“New York City, you also have the added situation of public transportation. For New York City to reopen, you have working New Yorkers who commute on mass transit,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “And we have to be able to have a mass transit system that is safe, that is clean, and is not overcrowded.”

The MTA has been shutting down the system nightly for cleaning and homeless outreach. Will that continue during the reopening? And how will they limit capacity so people can keep their distance?

The MTA and the mayor do not yet have an answer to those questions. The mayor suspects that some people will opt for a private car.

MTA spokesperson Abbey Collins released a statement saying:
“We are in regular communication with City Hall and will announce more on phased restorations of service in the coming days. We have seen a small uptick in riders thus far and anticipate further increases as we enter Phase 1. The MTA has planned for reopening and continues to lay out an aggressive, best-in-class program to protect customer and employee health and safety, including undertaking the largest disinfecting program in MTA history, exploring innovative solutions to reduce density and requiring all customers and employees to wear masks.”

This story originally appeared on NEW YORK (WABC)

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