White House: Public should avoid groups of more than 10, stay away from bars and restaurants

Coronavirus

The White House advised people not to gather in groups of more than 10 in a set of new guidelines to fight the coronavirus outbreak released Monday, as well as asked them to stay away from bars, restaurants and food courts, and to not travel if possible.

The guidelines also say states that have seen community spread should close bars, restaurants and other public places, though that is not a mandate.

Several cities, including Philadelphia and San Francisco, and entire states, including Maryland, have already issued the orders for bars and restaurants to close as soon as this evening.

The President’s guidelines — which he said are in effect for 15 days, to slow the virus’ spread — also include a set of broad measures that public health officials have been pushing since the start of the outbreak, including staying home from work if you feel sick and avoiding discretionary travel.

“If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration all together,” Trump said at the White House Monday.

The guidelines — and specifically the recommendation that people don’t gather in groups of more than 10 — marks a notable escalation from the guidance put out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Sunday recommending that no gatherings with 50 people or more take place for the next eight weeks to slow the spread of the virus.

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