President Donald Trump is sharing his vision on how the country should lift its restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
On Thursday, the White House released an 18-page document that lays out guidelines for how states could start to reopen their economies in a series of phases.
Trump tweeted on Thursday afternoon that he would hold a “major news conference” to outline his guidelines.
Major News Conference tonight, the White House at 6:00 P.M. (Eastern), to explain Guidelines for OPENING UP AMERICA AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2020
“We can begin the next front in our war,” Trump said during his press conference. “We must also preserve the health and functioning of our economy.”
The guidelines, titled “Opening Up America Again,” do not lay out a timeline for when restrictions are lifted. However, they list criteria for states to lift social distancing restrictions and provide an outline of how states can begin to move forward.
Check out the guidelines below:
The first phase is for states that see a 14-day downward trajectory in new cases. The second phase is for states that do not see a rebound of cases. And the third phase is for states that meet the downward trajectory requirements and do not see a spike in cases as restrictions have been lifted.
The first phase of the guidelines recommends that vulnerable Americans continue to shelter in place. For those who do go out, the guidelines recommend that they continue to adhere to existing social distancing guidelines and avoid non-essential travel.
However, it allows for businesses such as gyms, theaters, or places of worship to reopen if they can accommodate social distancing guidelines. Although bars are supposed to stay closed.
Additionally, elective surgeries — which have been delayed across the country — can resume in the first phase.
In phase two, the White House says non-essential travel can resume. It encourages people to avoid groups of more than 50 — up from the current recommendation to avoid groups of more than ten people.
Also, in phase two, the White House says that schools and daycare centers can reopen. And bars can open if they limit occupancy.
And in the third phase, vulnerable groups can leave their homes, businesses can return to normal staffing levels, and visits to hospitals and nursing homes can resume.
However, people are still encouraged to avoid crowded areas.
Trump had previously declared that he has the “total authority” on the decision to reopen the country. However, in a meeting with governors on Thursday afternoon, Trump reportedly told governors to “call your own shots.”
The latest data finds that there are 658,263 confirmed cases of the virus in the country. However, officials are optimistic that strict restrictions and social distancing guidelines are working to slow the spread of the virus.