Coronavirus: Some US states inch toward easing curbs after Trump unveils guidelines
Some US states were expected on Friday to announce timetables for lifting restrictions aimed at blunting the coronavirus pandemic, a day after President Donald Trump outlined guidelines for a phased reopening of the devastated US economy.
In Texas and Florida, Republican governors were expected to outline plans for a gradual reopening, according to media reports, and the city of Jacksonville, Florida, will allow beaches and parks to reopen with some restrictions.
“Reopening will take time and be done in thoughtful measured steps,” Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry wrote on Twitter. “As we open areas it is important for folks to practice social distancing. Let’s get the beach and park openings with limitations right. Keep moving. No large groups.”
Reopening will take time and be done in thoughtful measured steps. As we Open areas it is important for folks to practice social distancing. Let’s get the beach and park openings with limitations right. Keep moving. No large groups.
— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) April 17, 2020
The Republican Trump, seeking a second term in a November 3 election against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, on Thursday laid out new staggered, three-stage guidelines for US states meant to revive the economy even as the country goes on fighting the pandemic.
In heavily industrial Michigan, Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer said on Friday she hoped to begin re-engaging parts of the economy on May 1. Michigan, a state that Trump narrowly won in 2016, has faced one of the fastest growing infection rates, but residents have pressed to reopen the state’s economy, some even taking to the streets in protest.
Mississippi’s Republican Governor Tate Reeves said he would extend by a week a stay-at-home order that was set to expire on Monday while easing some restrictions early next week.
Beaches and lakes can reopen on Monday for fishing and relaxing, while non-essential businesses can sell products for drive-through pick-up or delivery, he said.
“We are easing the brakes on ‘non-essential’ businesses,” Reeves said. “I wanted to announce that we can all ease up and re-open today, but we can’t. We are still in the eye of the storm.”
The United States has reported more coronavirus infections than any other country, with nearly 670,000 cases and at least 33,300 deaths. The infections and casualties are spread unevenly across the country, with more densely populated places such as New York and New Jersey suffering the most.
On Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio canceled permitted city events through May, extending the cancellation by a month. He said events for June were under review. He said New York has to set a “high bar” for restarting large group events.