New York City can begin the first phase of reopening on June 8th, meaning that as many as 400,000 workers could go back to work in construction, manufacturing, wholesale business and curbside retail, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday.

The governor's announcement of a specific reopening date for the city during his daily press briefing came as a surprise. As recently as the morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio had declined to provide a precise date other than to say it would happen within the next two weeks. The five boroughs are the only part of the state that has not yet begun reopening.

Still, de Blasio, who joined the governor via satellite, seemed to try to preemptively deflect any appearance of a lack of coordination.

"Our teams talk all day long," he said. "We are absolutely on the same page."

But in a technical glitch that was perhaps symbolic of the communication between Albany and City Hall, the mayor's feed was suddenly interrupted and then cut off.

The problem occurred just after the mayor read off the list of metrics he was using to decide whether to reopen the city. He said New York City hospitals reported only 61 new admissions due to possible coronavirus infections. The state has established its own benchmarks, three of which the city is close to satisfying, according to a state dashboard.

But even as New Yorkers were now given a date on reopening, there were still lingering questions about the safety of mass transit.

Asked about de Blasio's comments earlier in the day that New Yorkers would "have to improvise" their commutes, Cuomo agreed with the mayor, saying that people had choices.

"If you want to go into New York City, you can. If you want to drive, you can," he said. "If you want to take public transit, you take public transit."

But he added: "Taking the car has obvious environmental issues and is incredibly expensive."

Mayor de Blasio said the city should prepare for a short-term growth in car traffic, which has dramatically fallen since the shutdown began in mid-March, but which has showed signs of picking up again.

Providing a glimpse of what subway riders can expect, the governor said that the MTA would ensure that public transit would be safe. In addition to the cleaning protocol and requirement that riders wear masks, subways would run on a staggered schedule and have MTA staffers limit how many people board on certain cars to prevent overcrowding.

Cuomo stressed that this was only the first phase for New York City.

"It's only 400,000 people," he said. "We’ll learn and we’ll adjust."

Cuomo also settled some confusion that arose Thursday after he said that phase 2 reopenings, which apply to in-store retail, offices and personal-service businesses like hair salons, would not begin until an international expert had examined the data and given an assessment.

Five regions that had been cleared for a first phase reopening on May 15th had expected to begin phase 2 reopenings on Friday morning. During his press conference, Cuomo said the phase 2 reopenings officially began at 1 p.m.

"I wanted to have the best minds review the data," he explained, adding that it was "a difference between this morning and 1 o'clock."