Gov. Greg Abbott is continuing to slowly loosen the grip of government-mandated shutdowns in response to the Chinese coronavirus, announcing Phase III of his plan to “reopen Texas.”
From Abbott’s announcement:
Effective June 3:
All businesses currently operating at 25% capacity can expand their occupancy to 50% with certain exceptions.
Bars and similar establishments 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 persons.
Effective June 12:
Restaurants may expand their occupancy levels to 75%.
Counties with 10 or less active COVID-19 cases may expand their occupancy limits to 75%. Counties that fit this category but have not previously filed an attestation with DSHS will need to do so.
Effective June 19:
Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with more than 1,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 may open at 50% capacity.
Additionally, Abbott has issued new special guidance on outdoor events, such as Independence Day celebrations, but cautions that “it is imperative that local officials and public health officials collaborate on safe standards.”
As the number of unemployed Texans due to the crisis passes 2.5 million and businesses shutter across the state, calls to reopen Texas continue to get louder and more urgent.
The continued partial closure of Texas also strikes particular dissonance with images of recent protests and riots from across the state; many of the same liberals who celebrated prohibitions from attending church—or the jailing of a Dallas salon owner—appear to look the other way as thousands take to the streets, with masks and “social distancing” pushed to the wayside.
More information on the updated guidelines can be found at the Open Texas webpage.