President Donald Trump on Thursday announced new guidelines for reopening America after the peak of the coronavirus crisis.
“We’re not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time,” Trump said. “We’re starting our life again. We’re starting rejuvenation of our economy again in a safe and structured and a very responsible fashion.”
The president spoke halfway through the coronavirus task force’s recommendation for 30 days of heightened social distancing which end on April 30. Many states are looking to reopen after May 1, although other states that remain “hot spots” for the virus have stalled reopening unit at least May 15.
The task force proposed three phases of reopening the government, allowing states to set their own timeline for reopening.
Phase one of the guidelines recommends that some crowded public places such as schools, summer camps, and bars remain closed, but gyms, sit down dining restaurants, movie theaters, and sporting venues could operate provided they follow “strict physical distancing protocols” and sanitary requirements. Phase two would allow more public places to reopen, but with social distancing measures still in place. Phase three was not fully detailed, according to the task force, but would still have some restrictions.
The president encouraged Americans to continue practicing hygiene, social distancing, and teleworking if possible.
“Those are our weapons and they are very powerful weapons indeed,” Trump said.
The president also promised to ramp up testing, previewing new tests offering a result within five minutes, allowing states to bypass commercial laboratories.
Trump also congratulated Americans for following the task force guidelines, calling it a historic moment of unity for the country.
“The sacrifices our citizens have made in this time of crisis will be remembered, studied, honored ,and praised for generations to come,” he said. “We are really all working together, Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal.”