April 18, 2020 / 9:29 PM / 4 months ago

Trump: Some states to begin lifting coronavirus restrictions in coming days

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., April 18, 2020. REUTERS/Al Drago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that Texas and Vermont will allow certain businesses to reopen on Monday while still observing coronavirus-related precautions and Montana will begin lifting restrictions on Friday.

“We continue to see a number of positive signs that the virus has passed its peak,” Trump told reporters at a daily briefing.

Some state governors have warned that they will not act prematurely to reopen their economies until there is more testing for the virus, however. Business leaders have also told Trump the country needs to have widespread testing in place before their companies can return to normal operations.

On Saturday, Trump said “our testing is getting better and better,” but offered no concrete evidence.

He said both Republican and Democratic governors “have announced concrete steps to begin a safe and gradual phased opening.” Texas and Vermont “will allow certain business to open on Monday while still requiring appropriate social distancing precautions,” he said.

Several dozen protesters gathered in the Texas capital of Austin on Saturday, chanting “USA! USA!” and “Let us work!”

On Saturday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, epicenter of the U.S. epidemic, said his coronavirus-battered state may finally be past the worst of the health crisis there.

Reporting by Jeff Mason, Matt Spetalnick, Idrees Ali, Julia Harte and Makini Brice; Editing by Sandra Maler and Sonya Hepinstall

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