The statewide lockdown has been in place since March 19, though some local orders in metro areas were put in place prior to that.
Abbott issued his orders for the first two phases of reopening on April 27 and May 18, respectively, punctuated by an interim order allowing for the reopening of salons and barbershops.
Effective immediately, businesses can increase customer capacities to the following:
- Businesses currently operating at 25 percent capacity can expand their occupancy to 50 percent;
- Bars may increase their capacity to 50 percent as long as patrons are seated;
- Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with fewer than 1,000 confirmed positive cases may open at 50 percent capacity;
- Restaurants may expand their maximum table size from 6 to 10 persons;
- No capacity limits are in place on businesses determined as “essential” by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency;
- No capacity limits are in place on religious services, local government operations, child-care services, youth camps, or recreational sports programs; and
- No capacity limits are in place for services such as salons, but work stations must be separated by six feet.
Beginning on June 12:
- Restaurants may expand their occupancy levels to 75 percent; and
- Businesses in counties with 10 or fewer active COVID-19 cases may expand their occupancy limits from 50 percent to 75 percent.
Beginning on June 19:
- Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with more than 1,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 may open at 50 percent capacity.
Full details can be found in Abbott’s executive order here.
“The people of Texas continue to prove that we can safely and responsibly open our state for business while containing COVID-19 and keeping our state safe,” Abbott stated in a press release.
“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.”
Abbott also noted that between May 26 and June 2, nearly half of new coronavirus cases came from jails, prisons, meat-packing plants, and nursing homes.
According to the release, “There are currently 1,487 Texans hospitalized due to COVID-19. There are 20,679 active cases in the state and 45,858 Texans are estimated to have recovered.”
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Daniel Friend is the Marketing and Media Manager for The Texan. After graduating with a double-major in Political Science and Humanities, he wrote for The Texan as a reporter through June 2022. In his spare time, you're likely to find him working on The Testimony of Calvin Lewis, an Abolition of Man-inspired novel and theatrical podcast.