Trump 'opening up America again' after coronavirus lockdown
U.S. President Donald Trump has announced it is time to start "opening up America again" as he published guidance for how states can get people back to work and reopen schools and businesses.
The 18-page document outlined three phases for lifting restrictions put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus, with each state needing to meet certain criteria to progress.
The U.S. leader said that governors would be empowered to make the decision about when to relax the rules, with different states opening up at different times.
"We can begin the next front in our war which we’re calling 'opening up America again'," Trump said, noting that the Covid-19 cases peak in America had now been passed.
"And that's what we're doing. We're opening up our country," he stressed.
"America wants to be open and Americans want to be open," the President said. "We took the greatest economy in the history of the world, and we closed it in order to win this war. And we’re in the process of winning now."
Phase One of the plan says that "all vulnerable individuals" should continue to shelter in place, and it encourages everyone to maintain various social distancing practices when in public.
But it also advises employers to "return to work in phases" if possible, while taking precautions such as closing common areas and minimizing nonessential travel.
Phase Two, which begins in areas with “no evidence of a rebound” in cases, further loosens the restrictions, CNBC reported.
Even by the final phase, however, the guidelines still suggest that low-risk individuals "consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments" – an indication that a return to daily life untainted by the coronavirus may not be coming for a long time, if at all.
The guidelines also list "Core State Preparedness Responsibilities" that include a section on so-called contact tracing, the process of pinpointing the interactions an infected person has had in order to trace the path of the disease.