• Thomas Parker

President Trump announces guidelines for states to reopen economy

On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced federal guidelines that states should follow in order to safely begin reopening the economy.

The federal plan directs governors to relax social distancing guidelines when certain conditions have been met, and to prioritize certain industries and businesses over others. Under the plan's first phase, restaurants, movie theaters, and large sporting venues would be able to reopen "under strict physical distancing protocols," while schools, daycare facilities, and bars would not.

The president called the guidelines "the next front in our war, which is called opening up America again."

"Now that we have passed the peak in new cases, we are starting our life again. We are starting rejuvenation of our economy again, in a safe and structured and a very responsible fashion," Trump said. "We are not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time."

The plan does not give a specific timeline for reopening, and President Trump acknowledged that it would be "a gradual process."

To implement the guidelines, a state must first meet certain criteria, such as experiencing a downward trajectory of confirmed cases within a 14-day period, as well as having medical facilities prepared for a resurgence in new cases.

Phase two of the plan requires states to experience "no evidence of a rebound" and under this phase, schools and daycare facilities would reopen, and nonessential travel would resume. Social distancing measures would be relaxed somewhat as well.

Phase three would allow visits to hospitals or nursing homes, and larger venues practicing limited social distancing measures could reopen.

Governors of each state are expected to apply the federal guidelines in their counties and cities as they see fit. "You're going to call your own shots," Trump said during a video conference with governors Thursday afternoon in the Situation Room.

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