On Monday, April 27th, Governor Greg Abbott announced a plan to gradually reopen Texas businesses.
During the press conference, Abbott announced the
Stay-At-Home Executive Order will expire on April 30th
and will not be renewed at this time. Abbott also announced the opening of several types of businesses that will be able to re-open on May 1, 2020
Abbott stated that it is not possible to reopen everything all at once in order to prevent a second, stronger wave of the virus.
of the reopening of Texas businesses is scheduled to begin May 1st. Abbott stated that if the virus remains contained, Phase Two could begin by May 18th.
Abbott said Phase Two will allow even more businesses to reopen and expand the capabilities of Phase One businesses.
Before Phase Two begins, Abbott stated there must be two weeks of data showing that the virus is continuing to be contained.
Abbott said Phase One emphasizes the protection of vulnerable populations, Senior Citizens ages 65 and over, and aims to allow them to stay at home.
Abbott announced that all retail stores, restaurants, movies and malls will be able to re-open on May 1st, but will be required to maintain only up to 25% occupancy. Additionally, museums and libraries will be able to reopen, given they follow the 25% occupancy rules and do not reopen interactive features.
Abbott emphasized that this only allows businesses to reopen, not requires them to.
Additionally, Abbott has allowed outdoor sports like golf and tennis to return as long as there are only four participants that are maintaining social distancing.
Abbott also allowed all licensed physicians to return to work with limited restrictions.
Abbott announced a different standard would apply to counties with five or fewer cases of COVID-19. These counties must comply with safety standards outlined by doctors, but can increase capacity in businesses to 50% compared to 25%.
Abbott said he hopes to open businesses like gyms, bars and restaurants by mid-May.
Additionally, Abbott outlined three phases for the state's COVID-19 tracing. Phase one, which has already been completed, mobilized 1,157 state and local contact tracers. Phase two, starting on April 27, will add an additional 1,000 contact tracers and phase three, starting May 11, aims to build a team of 4,000 contact tracers.
These contact tracers test those who may be affected, help isolate those who test positive and contact those who have been in contact with those people, effectively boxing in the virus, according to Gov. Abbott.
The full plan to re-open Texas can be found in a report released by Governor Abbott, which can be read by
, or on the image below.