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“We haven’t returned to normal,” said Sedonia Croom, a long-time employee at Croom Boutique Salon & Spa, a family-run business in the Crotona neighborhood of the Bronx. The store, she said, has no immediate plans to get rid of its face coverage or capacity guidelines.
“You still need to protect yourself and your customers,” said Ms. Croom. “You have no other choice.”
It reflects a unique dynamic in the city: the first full weekend without most of the virus restrictions had arrived, and many calendars were overflowing with weekend plans and after-work meetings. But for the foreseeable future, New York’s prepandemic form will remain out of reach.
In the Fordham area of the Bronx, 55-year-old Phu Vaa said his business, Jimmy Nail Salon, will, among other things, maintain its Plexiglas barriers for separate seating and temperature controls for customers entering. “He says everything is fine,” said Mr. Vaa, the manager, referring to the governor. “I’m still checking to make sure.”
Some New Yorkers opt for small gatherings and parties among close friends over bars and nightclubs. “It’s still scary,” said Angel Martinez, 41, who works at a Crotona hair salon. “You won’t find me in a big crowd, I’ll tell you.”
And while many vaccinated New Yorkers no longer wear masks in public, some say they are in no rush to take them off. “It’s not that simple,” says Ravi Manneru, who lives in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens.