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Barber shops and salons allowed to open May 8

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday, May 5 that hair salons, barber shops, nail and tanning salons may reopen Friday, May 8. On May 18, gyms will be allowed to start letting in a limited number of customers who must wear gloves and maintain six feet of distance. Showers and locker rooms at gyms must remain closed.

Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and tanning salons will be allowed to open with work stations six feet apart, with one customer permitted in the building per stylist, unless the individual is waiting for service. Customers are only allowed to wait inside the building if social distancing six feet from others. Abbott also encouraged both stylists and customers to wear masks while services are being provided.

Gov. Abbott recommends these businesses operate by appointment only. That is only a recommendation and walk-ins are allowed if customers are able to remain six feet apart from each other. Otherwise, waiting should occur outside or in their vehicle.

On Monday, May 18, gyms and other workout facilities will be allowed to open under a 25% capacity for indoor workouts. Equipment must be disinfected between each use. Any equipment, such as yoga mats, brought into a gym must be disinfected before and after use.

Abbott also clarified restrictions listed in Phase I of his Open Texas plan. The capacity limitations at restaurants apply to indoor seating only and do not include outdoor seating. Restaurants must still maintain a distance of six feet between tables on patios. Abbott also clarified that weddings, funerals and memorials may occur in Texas, as long as participants observe social distancing, such as alternating rows and maintaining six feet between groups.

"We would recommend the providers of those services (weddings, funerals and memorials) designate an area for the at-risk population," Abbott said. "(...)At wedding receptions, we want to make sure that the same type of practices used at wedding receptions that are used in restaurants."

In regards to bars and restaurants whose sales are 51% or more from alcohol, Abbott said that he is working with business owners to find solutions for social distancing in those establishments.

“The fact is we are still working on ways we can establish safe distancing,” Abbott said. “To some extent, you can set up a bar in the same way a restaurant is set up (...) and that could be a strategy that could be employed by some bars. But, we need to recognize kind of the very nature of a bar. That is, it brings in people close together in a closed space, in a setting that is the type of setting that promotes the spreading of this type of infectious disease.”

Abbott said non-essential manufacturing will be allowed to resume operations May 18, with the same 25% occupancy limitation imposed on other businesses. He suggested separating work groups across multiple shifts to meet the requirement.

On May 1, Gov. Abbott began letting restaurants, retail stores and movie theaters open statewide at 25% percent capacity. As a rural county with less than five cases, Young County was allowed to open at 50% capacity for these businesses after approval from the state. Abbott hinted last week that Phase II could begin as early as May 18.

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