Abbott: Retail stores, movie theaters, restaurants can reopen with 25 percent capacity

Posted at 2:40 PM, Apr 27, 2020

The governor announced his plan to reopen the state in a press conference on Monday.

Since March, he says he has started putting steps in place to control the spread of COVID-19 by sheltering in place and restricting travel into the state. The executive order for the stay-at-home order will expire as scheduled on April 30.

He started his announcement by thanking the strike force in charge of coming up with a plan to reopen the state, safely.

He said that all businesses will not be able to open all at once. Singapore is dealing with a second wave, and China is dealing with more cases due to opening too quickly, he said.

"We aren't going to open up and hope for the best," he said.

Texas will open in phases, he said. Phase one starts May 1, and phase 2 can start as early as May 18.

The most important element of phase 1 is keeping the vulnerable safe, Abbott said.

Phase 1 will emphasize the importance of vulnerable populations remaining at home and encouraging businesses to help limit exposure to those most vulnerable. Senior living centers will enforce more CDC guidelines.

All retails shops, restaurants, movie theaters, malls can return to 25 percent capacity on May 1. Museums and libraries can also return to 25 percent capacity.

However, interactive exhibits will remain closed.

Outdoor sports activities are allowed in groups of 4.

He also said physician and doctors will also be able to return to work.

Although many businesses can reopen, he said some businesses might choose not to. This order just allows them to open.

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He said in order to protect counties with 5 or fewer cases, they will be able to open more. They are allowed to run at 50 percent capacity, as long as they follow safety guidelines.

In regards to businesses like hair salon and tattoo shops, he wants to open them, but health officials cannot recommend opening at this time. He hopes to open those businesses mid-May.

New standards will help "box-in" the expansion of the spread of COVID-19. He revealed the following plan to keep more control of the spread.

All infected people should isolate and find everyone who has been in contact with that person. All contacts must self-isolate for 14 days.

Abbott said that although we have one of the highest recovery rates in the country, we must not forget the people that died in this pandemic.

The state is working on filling unemployment claims. They have more than triple the Texas Workforce Commission staff to help with the needs.

He said that $2 billion of unemployment benefits have been paid out.

Additionally, the Governor issued an Executive Order (GA-20) [] to eliminate the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for individuals traveling from Louisiana. Under GA-20, the mandated 14-day quarantine for travelers from the following areas remains in place: California; Connecticut; New York; New Jersey; Washington; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan, and Miami, Florida.