New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio on Monday urged residents and businesses to brace for a possible second shutdown amid a citywide surge in coronavirus cases.
"What is increasingly clear is that all forms of restrictions have to be on the table at this point," De Blasio said in a press conference from City Hall in Manhattan. "At the current rate we're going, you have to be ready now for a full shutdown — a pause like we had back at the end of the spring."
Another lockdown is "increasingly necessary just to break the back of our second wave, to stop the second wave from growing, to stop it from taking lives, to stop it from threatening our hospitals," added De Blasio who was commenting on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Dec. 12 remarks to the New York Times raising the possibility of the city entering another lockdown "within a month."
The decision whether to impose tighter restrictions in New York rests with Cuomo. But De Blasio urged businesses and workers to prepare to start working remotely if they're currently reporting to physical workplaces.
Potential restrictions could last for "a matter of weeks," De Blasio said. "We have to be preparing ourselves mentally and practically for that possibility."
The city's restaurants were forced to close for indoor dining again Monday.