Governor announces most businesses can open on May 1 with limited occupancy

Texas Governor, Greg Abbott
Texas Governor, Greg Abbott
Updated: Apr. 27, 2020 at 2:21 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KLTV/KTRE) - Gov. Greg Abbott said “phase one” of re-opening the Texas economy will begin on Friday, as long as COVID-19 cases don’t increase.

Abbott said all retail outlets across the state can open on May 1, provided they do not exceed 25 percent occupancy.

Abbott said all health care providers will be able to return to work with fewer restrictions.

Abbott said museums and libraries can also reopen with the same restriction. However, hands-on museums will not be allowed to re-open.

Hair salons and gyms will remain closed because doctors feel they are not safe to open yet. Abbott said he is hoping they can open by mid-May.

“Phase two” will begin two weeks later, provided there are no “flare-ups.” Occupancy can increase to 50 percent.

To protect rural counties, a different standard can apply to counties with five or fewer confirmed COVID cases (mostly rural counties, though urban counties can be eligible if case counts get this low).

Abbott said that just because businesses are allowed to open, this is not a requirement to open.

Outdoor sports will also be allowed, Abbott said, with no more than four participants playing together at one time. Abbott says examples include golf and tennis. The goal in phase 2 would be to expand that number.

The governor has released a report detailing the plan to reopen the Texas economy. You can view that report here.

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