Donald Trump’s three-phase plan to reopen economy to take months

Washington: US President Donald Trump has given state governors a road map for recovering from the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic, laying out a phased approach to restoring normal activity.

President Donald Trump listens during a briefing about the coronavirus in The White House.Credit:AP

The new guidelines are aimed at easing restrictions in areas with low transmission of the coronavirus, while holding the line in harder-hit locations.

They make clear that the return to normality will be a far longer process than Trump initially envisioned, with federal officials warning that some social distancing measures may need to remain in place through to the end of the year to prevent a new outbreak.

Places with declining infections and strong testing would begin a three-phased gradual reopening of businesses and schools – each phase lasting at least 14 days – to ensure that infections don't accelerate again.

In phase one, for instance, the plan recommends strict social distancing for all people in public. Gatherings larger than 10 people are to be avoided and non- essential travel is discouraged.

Stand Here signage sits on the sidewalk outside a restaurant in Washington, DC.Credit:Bloomberg

In phase two, people are encouraged to maximise social distancing where possible and limit gatherings to no more than 50 people unless precautionary measures are taken. Travel could resume.

Phase three envisions a return to normality for most Americans, with a focus on identification and isolation of any new infections.

Governors of both parties made clear they will move at their own pace.

Delaware Governor John Carney, a Democrat, said the guidelines "seem to make sense."

US President Donald Trump unveils a reopening plan.Credit:AP

"That is a catastrophic outcome for our country. Period," Moore said he advised the president. "We can't have 30 million people in this country unemployed or you're going to have social chaos."


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