AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced, effective immediately, the state of Texas will enter the final part of its three-stage plan to reopen the economy after the COVID-19 shutdown.
Here’s a timeline of when businesses will be allowed to reopen and at what capacity:
- All businesses currently operating at 25% capacity can expand their occupancy to 50% with certain exceptions
- Bars and similar businesses may increase their capacity to 50% as long as patrons are seated
- Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with less than 1,000 confirmed positive cases may open at 50% capacity
- Restaurants may expand their maximum table size from 6 to 10 people
- Restaurants can expand their occupancy levels to 75%
- Counties with 10 or fewer active COVID-19 cases can expand their occupancy limits to 75%, with exceptions
- Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with more than 1,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 can open at 50% capacity
Abbott still says Texans should use precautionary measures, including wearing face coverings, avoid being in groups of more than 10, and not visiting nursing homes or similar facilities.
People over the age of 65 — who are most at-risk for coronavirus — are still encouraged to stay at home.
Phase 1 of the Texas’ reopening was revealed on April 27, when Abbott announced he would allow the state’s stay-home executive order to expire. As part of Phase 1, retail stores, restaurants and movie theaters were allowed to open at 25% capacity. The order later expanded to include businesses like barber shops and salons.
On May 18, Abbott announced Texas’ entry into Phase 2, which allowed businesses like bars, bowling alleys and zoos to open at 25% capacity. Restaurant capacity was expanded to 50%.
In his Phase 3 announcement on Wednesday, the Governor said, in part:
“As we begin Phase III, I ask all Texans and Texas businesses to continue following the standard health protocols and to heed the guidance of our state and federal officials who continue to closely monitor COVID-19. If we remain vigilant, we will continue to mitigate the spread of this virus, protect public health, and get more Texans back to work and their daily activities.”
Coronavirus in Texas
Texas businesses were first closed (in some capacities) back in March, when Gov. Abbott issued executive orders to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Since then, Texas has amassed a total of 68,216 cases of COVID-19, as of June 2 — in addition to 1,733 deaths.