US President Donald Trump on Thursday laid out a phased plan for governors across the country to reopen American economy which has been battered by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
“We’re starting our life again,” Trump said during his daily White House press briefing. “We’re starting rejuvenation of our economy again.”
Trump admitted that “this is a gradual process” and said that the new guidelines were aimed at easing restrictions in areas which have demonstrated a low transmission of the virus.
Trump said some states, which have shown encouraging trends in recent times, could begin opening up immediately.
Places with declining rates of infections and strong testing will begin a three-phase gradual reopening of businesses and schools.
Phase one calls for strict social distancing in public with gatherings of more than 10 people to be avoided and non-essential travel discouraged.
Phase two will encourage people to maximise social distancing. Gatherings will be limited to not more than 50 people unless precautions are put in place and travel will be allowed to resume.
Phase three will be a return to normalcy with an emphasis on tracking and isolating new infections.
As per the guidelines, states have to look at the number of new cases, rate of testing and surveillance data over a period of 14 days before moving from one phase to the next.
The guidelines also include recommendations to businesses for reopening, such as temperature-taking, rapid COVID-19 testing and widespread disinfection efforts in workplaces.