Texas will be allowing restaurants to reopen from coronavirus closures on Friday, May 1, but they will be limited to 25% of capacity for dine-in service, the state’s governor said Monday.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced at a press conference Monday that he would allow his stay-at-home order expire Thursday and issue a new one to allow the re-openings, which also include malls, retail stores and movie theaters.
The governor’s guidance for Texas restaurants also bars valet services except for vehicles with placards or plates for disabled parking.
The governor said all food courts, play areas and interactive displays also must remain closed, according to a report from NBC DFW.
"This strategic approach to opening the state of Texas prioritizes the health and safety of our communities and follows the guidelines laid out by our team of medical experts," said Abbott in a prepared statement.
"Now more than ever, Texans must remain committed to safe distancing practices that reduce the spread of COVID-19, and we must continue to rely on doctors and data to provide us with the safest strategies to restore Texans' livelihoods,” Abbott said. “We must also focus on protecting the most vulnerable Texans from exposure to COVID-19. If we remain focused on protecting the lives of our fellow Texans, we can continue to open the Lone Star State."
The Texas Restaurant Association in early April estimated that 688,000 restaurant employees had been laid off or furloughed since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.
“This represents at least 61% of the 1.2 million employees that were working at Texas’ eating and drinking places in February,” the association said.
Abbott said bars, salons, gyms and barbershops are still ordered to remain closed and might be able to resume operations in mid-May.
The governor on Monday also issued an executive order to eliminate the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for individuals traveling from Louisiana.
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