Gov. Abbott opens more businesses under Phase II of Open Texas plan
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference May 18, where he announced the next phase in his plan to reopen the Texas economy. Phase II of Gov. Abbott’s plan includes bars, bowling alleys, child care facilities, professional and youth sports, among other businesses and organizations.
“We are getting through this, but now more than ever we need to work together as one Texas,” Abbott said.
As of May 18, child care facilities and massage parlors may reopen. Gyms and other workout centers were previously announced to open May 18. Youth clubs, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, FFA and others, were allowed to hold meetings beginning May 18 according to Gov. Abbott’s updated Open Texas page, at https://gov.texas.gov/organization/opentexas.
Included under massage and personal-care and beauty services in Gov. Abbott’s report were electrolysis, waxing, tattoo studios, piercing studios, and hair loss treatment and growth services.
Businesses that were previously allowed to open at 25% such as restaurants, movie theaters and shopping malls were allowed to increase allowed occupancy to 50%.
Effective May 22, bars, bowling alleys, bingo halls, rodeos, zoos and aquariums may reopen. These businesses are allowed to reopen at 25% capacity.
Beginning May 31, day and overnight youth camps may open. Professional sports such as auto racing, baseball and football may begin competition without spectators in attendance. Youth league sports may also begin practices. Gov. Abbott’s updated Open Texas report gives more specific direction to youth league organizers.
“Effective May 31, 2020, youth sports may begin holding practices without spectators other than one parent or guardian per participant, as needed,” the report states. “Those sports may begin holding games or similar competitions, with or without spectators, on or after June 15, 2020. Spectators should maintain at least six feet social distancing from individuals not within the spectator’s group.”
Also affected in Graham is this weekend’s Young County Rodeo. According to the Open Texas report, spectators will be allowed provided that the Young County Arena limits the number of spectators to no more than 25% of the total listed occupancy of the venue, and outdoor venues may operate at up to 25% of the normal operating limits as determined by the facility owner. Six feet of separation between individuals not within the same household should be maintained to the extent feasible. It is unclear if the Young County Rodeo can allow 50% capacity due to having less than five active COVID-19 cases.
While allowing these businesses to re-open and groups to begin meeting, Abbott delayed Amarillo and El Paso from beginning Phase II due to spikes in positive cases.
Interactive amusement venues, such as video arcades, amusement parks, or water parks across the state will remain closed.