Trump extends US social distancing guidelines until April 30

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The guidelines call on Americans to avoid social gatherings involving groups of 10 or more, to stay away from public spaces like restaurants and bars, to avoid discretionary travel and to practice increased hygiene. — Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Sunday he would extend nationwide social distancing guidelines until April 30.

The initial 15-day period of social distancing urged by the federal government expires on Monday and Trump had expressed interest in relaxing the guidelines at least in parts of the country less afflicted by the pandemic.

“The peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks,” Trump said. “Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won.”

But on Sunday he said he'd decided to extend the guidelines across the country for another 30 days in an abrupt U-turn.

"The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end," the President said Sunday at a White House news conference. He said he would be finalizing a new plan and strategy early this week and announcing the details on Tuesday. H e expects by June 1, “We will be well on our way to recovery.”

The guidelines call on Americans to avoid social gatherings involving groups of 10 or more, to stay away from public spaces like restaurants and bars, to avoid discretionary travel and to practice increased hygiene. They also asked Americans to stay home if they are sick and for older individuals to stay away from other people.

When asked by about floating Easter as a possible date to lift the social-distancing restrictions, Trump dismissed his previous deadline as "an aspiration."

"We had an aspiration of Easter but when you hear these kind of numbers and you hear the potential travesty," Trump said, "we don't want to have a spike up."

"We've gone through too much. So that was an aspiration," he said. — Agencies


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