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Bars, gyms, hair salons, barbershops still not allowed to open in Texas

Certain businesses could be allowed to open mid-May

An empty bar
An empty bar (WDIV)

SAN ANTONIO – The coronavirus pandemic has threatened many Texas businesses but state officials are hoping to reopen more establishments by mid-May.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls could start reopening on Friday but bars, gyms, hair salons and barbershops would still not be allowed to operate.

Abbott said the second phase of reopening Texas, which would potentially include bars, salons and barbershops, would be based on the state’s ability to maintain health care capacity and limit the spread of COVID-19.

That wasn’t enough for one Dallas hair salon owner who was issued a citation for violating the stay-at-home orders and reopening her business Salon A la Mode.

Shelley Luther was sent a cease and desist letter by a Dallas County judge ordering her to close her salon but, according to CBS Dallas, she ripped it to shreds and is refusing to pay a $1,000 fine.

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Luther reopened her salon last week and told a reporter with WFAA “if that means I have to go to jail, I’ll go."

“Abbott said a second phase of business reopenings could come as soon as May 18”, according to the Texas Tribune, “as long as the state sees ‘two weeks of data to confirm no flare-up of COVID-19.’”

Abbott said that he will not renew statewide stay-at-home orders that he issued March 31. The order is set to expire Thursday.

”COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March. The first case confirmed in the U.S. was in mid-January and the first case confirmed in San Antonio was in mid-February.

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