President Donald Trump has unveiled guidelines for opening up America again amid the CCP Virus pandemic, offering a phased plan that could help state and local officials get people back to work and continue to protect American lives.

“We can begin the next front in our war, which we are calling Opening Up America Again,” President Trump said as he presented the plan at a press briefing at the White House on Thursday evening, April 16.

The plan outlines recommendations for governors to make their final decisions. It calls for three phases to reopen the country based on the severity of the virus outbreak in each individual state or region, according to The Hill.

The first phase largely urges existing measures to remain in place, including bars, while allowing certain businesses, such as gyms, to reopen if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols.

The second phase makes recommendations for states and regions with no evidence of a rebound of the CCP Virus and that have twice satisfied the initial criteria on cases, hospitals, and testing. In this phase, all vulnerable individuals should shelter in place and others should exercise social distancing in public, while nonessential travel can resume, schools can reopen, and large venues, gyms, and bars can operate with social-distancing steps in place. Businesses should continue to encourage telework when possible and close common areas where staff may congregate.

The third phase is recommended only for states that have shown no signs of a spike in cases after restrictions are lifted and have satisfied the initial criteria a third time. This phase allows public interactions and visits to nursing homes to resume and lets bars and restaurants expand their capacity. It still encourages individuals to socially distance when possible and limit their time in large gatherings, while allowing employers to resume unrestricted staffing in the workplace. (See Full Plan)

At the press conference, President Trump argued, “To preserve the health of our citizens, we must also preserve the health and functioning of our economy.”

“A prolonged lockdown combined with a forced economic depression would inflict an immense and wide ranging toll on public health,” he said. 

“We are not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time,” the president said, adding that some states will be able to open up sooner than others.

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