ABBOTT: BARS CAN OPEN TO LIMITED CAPACITY FRIDAY, RESTAURANT CAPACITY EXPANDED, SPORTS COMING MAY 31ST

  

Governor Greg Abbott has announced a new slate of businesses and organizations that can open or expand upon their services.

Governor Greg Abbott

Abbott at a press conference this (Monday) afternoon announced that, effective immediately, child care services, massage parlors, and personal-care and beauty services can reopen, as long as social distancing is maintained.  Youth organizations such as Boys and Girls Clubs, FFA, and Boy and Girl Scouts can now begin holding meetings again, although indoor meetings should not exceed more than ten people at a time.

Starting Friday, bars, wine-tasting rooms and other similar establishments can reopen to in-person service for up to 25 percent capacity, as well as bowling alleys, bingo halls, and skating rinks.  Any part of these facilities that have interactive functions like child play areas, interactive games, and video arcades must remain closed.  Restaurants will be allowed to expand their occupancy to 50 percent.

Also on Friday, rodeo and equestrian events can resume at 25 percent occupancy of the venues in which they occur, and aquariums, natural caverns and similar facilities can open up to 25 percent capacity.  Zoos will be able to reopen next Friday, May 29th.

Effective May 31st, youth camps can reopen, and youth sports can begin holding practices without spectators, other than one parent or guardian per participant, as needed.  Those sports can start holding games or competitions June 15th, with or without spectators.  Meanwhile, professional sports such as baseball, softball, basketball, car racing, golf, tennis, and football will be allowed to hold events without in-person spectators starting May 31st.

These new openings come after Abbott pointed to data showing the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 has increased with the greater testing opportunities, but the percentage of positive tests has dropped.  The data presented showed that 13.8 percent of all COVID-19 tests came back positive as of April 13th, but as of May 17th, the positivity rate decreased to 4.98 percent.

Abbott encouraged residents to “be a good neighbor and be a good Texan” as the state rolls further into its reopening plan.

The full list of businesses and services that can reopen is available online at https://gov.texas.gov/organization/opentexas.

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