The famous New York Stock Exchange trading room opened Tuesday for the first time in more than two months, after closing in March due to the spread of Covid-19.
Governor Andrew Cuomo rang the opening bell while wearing a face mask, signaling that although New York State may begin to open, things will be far from normal for a while.
“Today, I ring the bell at the start of the trading day and when the traders return to the NYSE,” Cuomo wrote on Twitter. “During the two months, the ground was dark, NYers bent the curve and slowed the spread of the virus. “
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, New York is by far the most affected US state, with more than 362,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and approximately 23,500 deaths.
The Intercontinental Exchange, which manages the NYSE, closed its trading floor in downtown New York on March 23, saying that all trading would be done electronically. The trade took precautions while the trading room was still open, such as the employee test and the temperature control of everyone entering the building, but two employees tested positive for Covid-19.
The NYSE now says it has consulted with public health and elected officials to develop a protocol that will allow the opening of speech with precautionary measures.
“The virus will remain a stubborn reality, but we cannot keep the country closed indefinitely,” wrote Stacey Cunningham, president of NYSE, in a Wall Street Journal column this month.
Most employees will continue to work remotely. The small group of traders allowed to return will have to wear masks and practice social distancing. Everyone entering the building must be filtered and subjected to a temperature control.
Traders must also sign a waiver that acknowledges being on the ground exposes them to the risk of “contracting Covid-19, respiratory failure, death and passing Covid-19 to family or household members and others people who could also suffer from these effects, “reported the Journal. .
The newspaper also said that the Intercontinental Exchange had asked companies, including major banks, which employ traders on the floor, to agree to provide compensation in the event of a lawsuit.
Traders on the floor should also avoid taking public transportation, a ban that has proven controversial.
Transportation news site Streetsblog said the policy was indicative of a potential “carpocalypse” – a rapid increase in the number of cars entering Manhattan as commuters try to avoid public transportation as a result of the virus.
City Council member Margaret Chin wrote to New York mayor Bill de Blasio, stressing “the deep concern over the precedent [the ban] together for other companies wanting to reopen. “