Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Monday that he will let the state’s stay-at-home order expire on April 30th, and will start to allow certain businesses to begin slowly reopening in phases in May.
This Friday, May 1st, the following businesses and organizations will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity: retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, museums, and libraries. Museums and libraries must keep any hands-on exhibits closed for the time being. Churches can continue to expand their capacity up to 25% as long as proper social distancing is followed.
Outdoor sports, including tennis and golf, are allowed if there are 4 or fewer participants.
Some businesses that will not yet be able to reopen include gyms, bars, and barbershops/hair salons. Governor Abbott stated he hopes these businesses can open “on or no later than mid-May” if the spread of the coronavirus is contained.
The second phase of Governor Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas takes place Monday, May 18th. At this point, businesses will be allowed to open at 50% of their capacity if the coronavirus spread has been shown to be contained based on the latest data.
Abbott stated that “it’s time to set a new course, a course that responsibly opens up business in Texas. Just as we united as one state to slow COVID-19, we must also come together to begin rebuilding the lives and the livelihoods of our fellow Texans.”
A couple of things to note about these new orders that go into effect at the start of May:
- These orders supersede any local city/county orders that stated these businesses must remain closed
- The reopenings are totally optional. If a business doesn’t feel comfortable reopening yet, they do not have to.
What do you think about the governor’s plans to reopen Texas?