SAN ANTONIO – Starting May 1, some businesses in the state will be allowed to reopen as Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s stay-at-home order expires at midnight.
Texas is among a handful of states that is beginning to reopen its economy.
Which establishments can reopen on Friday?
Under the new order, the following places can reopen with 25% occupancy and in compliance with social distancing guidelines:
- All retail stores
- Movie theaters
- Dental offices and other health care professionals
“If a business owner feels unsafe opening at this time ... there is no requirement to do so,” Abbott said Monday.
Which businesses are still closed?
Some businesses, where distancing is difficult to maintain, are still too unsafe to open. They include:
- Barber shops
- Hair salons
- Nail salons
Are masks or face coverings required?
All Texans are encouraged to wear face masks in public to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, but Abbott’s order prohibits local governments from enforcing any penalties for people who do not wear one.
However, private businesses can ask customers to leave their establishment if they are not wearing masks.
San Antonio and Bexar County are still mandating face masks for residents in public buildings, but are cannot issue fines or other penalties.
When will the next phase of the plan begin?
Abbott’s current order is in effect through May 17, making May 18 the target date of the second phase.
Restrictions will be eased, however, depending on a number of factors state officials are monitoring, like positive test rates, death rates and hospitalization rates.
Bexar County and San Antonio’s emergency order, which bans gatherings and orders residents to wear face masks, is also in effect through May 17.
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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