Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks as the Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort arrives in Manhattan’s Pier 90 to help relieve the strain on local hospitals with its 1,000 beds and 1,200 personnel during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in New York City.

Ron Adar | Barcroft Media | Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday that city plans to open 40 miles of streets in May and nearly 100 miles over the course of the city’s Covid-19 outbreak to pedestrians as the weather warms. 

“The open streets are going to be another way to help encourage social distancing because the warmer weather tells us we’re going to have a new challenge,” de Blasio said at a press conference on Friday. 

He said the city will start opening streets to pedestrians on Monday, with 4.5 miles worth of streets opening inside the city’s parks and 2.7 miles of streets adjacent to parks. The plan is in coordination with the New York City Council, he said. 

However, de Blasio added that the city will still monitor the area to ensure people are still following social distancing guidelines and are wearing face coverings. 

“That’s the beginning and we’re going to build out from here,” de Blasio said. “This is going to help people to have some more space but also with vigilant eyes to make sure there’s no gatherings, there are no attempts by people to create sports or group activities.” 

Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation Polly Trottenberg said the department worked with the New York Police Department, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and the New York City Fire Department to select which streets would close. 

This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates. 

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