Editor’s note: This story is part of The Daily Texan’s coverage of how coronavirus concerns are affecting UT-Austin. Read the rest of our coverage here.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that bars and several other businesses will be allowed to reopen with limited capacity by Friday.
“Our focus is to keep you safe while also restoring your ability to get back to work, to open your business, to pay your bills, to put food on your tables,” Abbott said. “But let’s be clear, COVID-19 still exists in Texas. Our goal is to find ways to coexist with COVID-19.”
As part of the second phase to reopen business in Texas, Abbott listed several new businesses that are allowed to reopen within the following week.
Abbott loosened more restrictions on gyms and businesses in office buildings, allowing them to reopen at 25% capacity effective Monday. Child care services, beauty salons, massage parlors and youth centers, such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America, are also allowed to reopen starting Monday.
Restaurants will be allowed to open capacity to 50% on Friday. Bars, bowling alleys, zoos and other recreational businesses will be allowed to reopen by Friday. A list of all of the businesses to reopen can be found on the governor’s website.
Certain professional sports teams will also be able to apply on May 31 to the Department of State Health Services to play, provided there are no in-person spectators.
Abbott said the reopening of Texas counties and regions with significant COVID-19 hotspots, such as El Paso, Randall, Potter, Moore and Deaf Smith counties, is paused one week to prevent overwhelming health care systems.
“As we open up, we must continue to place health and safety first and foremost,” Abbott said. “There may be times when a county or region is facing COVID-19 challenges, challenges that may prevent it from opening at the same pace as other parts of the state.”