With vaccination rates up, confirmed Covid-19 cases down, and more than two million New Yorkers back on the rails, the city is gearing up for a return to "normal."

More than a year after shutting down 24/7 subway service, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that the MTA would scuttle limited hours beginning May 17.

"COVID-19 is on the decline in New York City and across New York State, and as we shift our focus to rebuilding our economy, helping businesses and putting people back to work, it's time to bring the Subway back to full capacity," Governor Cuomo said. 

"We reduced Subway service more than a year ago to disinfect our trains and combat the rising tide of COVID cases, and we're going to restore 24-hour service as New York gets back on the right track. This expansion will help working people, businesses and families get back to normal as the city reopens and reimagines itself for a new future."

Likewise, state-mandated capacity restrictions will be lifted for most businesses on May 19. This includes restaurants, theaters, museums, gyms, salons, and offices, which, for the first time in 14 months, will be able to open at 100 percent capacity. However, these venues will still be required to enforce six-foot social distancing.

Large gatherings will also see more lax rules with the outdoor gathering limit increased to 500 on May 10, and the indoor limit bumped up to 250 on May 19. Large-scale indoor venues can operate at 30 percent capacity starting May 19. And if all attendees can offer proof of vaccination or a recent negative test, the figure can be increased.

Cuomo's timeline jumps ahead of Mayor de Blasio's plan for the city. De Blasio announced last week on CNN that the city would be reopened and back in full swing July 1.