On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that he would be letting the state’s stay-at-home order expire on April 30. Starting May 1, certain businesses will begin to slowly reopen in phases until everything is able to go back to operating at full capacity.
Starting Friday, May 1, the public is able to begin venturing out to certain businesses that were previously closed. Retail stores, movie theaters, restaurants, museums, malls, and libraries will have the ability to reopen at 25% capacity. Despite opening, museums and libraries will not be able to re-open any hands-on exhibits for the time being.
Churches will be able to up their capacity to 25%, as well, as long as social distancing is followed properly. Tennis, golf, and select other outdoor sports will be allowed assuming there are 4 or less participants.
Businesses that will not open on May 1 include bars, gyms, and hair salons/barbershops. Governor Abbott has said that he hopes these businesses will be able to open around “mid-May” if the spread of COVID-19 is contained.
The May 1 opening is considered phase one of Governor Abbott’s plan. Phase two is set to begin on Monday, May 18th. This would have businesses be able to open at 50% capacity as long as the coronavirus spread is contained based on the current data available at that time.
When Governor Abbott announced the reopening of business, he stated that it’s time to set a course that “responsibly opens up business in Texas.” He went on to say, “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.”
The current orders will supersede local city and county orders that stated that businesses would need to remain closed. That said, the option of reopening is completely optional. Businesses that do not feel comfortable at this time, will not be forced to.
So, when the state begins reopening on Friday, will you be heading out or staying home?