May 18, 2020 5:33 PM
Governor Abbott announces Phase Two To Open Texas
Governor Greg Abbott today announced the second phase of the State of Texas’ ongoing plan to safely and strategically open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Under Phase II, restaurants may increase their occupancy to 50% and additional services and activities that remained closed under Phase I may open with restricted occupancy levels and minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
Additionally, the Governor announced that public schools in Texas have the option to provide in-person summer school so long as they follow social distancing practices and health protocols laid out by DSHS. These classes may begin as soon as June 1st.
Via Executive Order, the following services and activities may open under Phase II:
Child Care Centers (May 18)
Massage and Personal-Care Centers (May 18)
Youth Clubs (May 18)
Rodeo and Equestrian Events (May 22)
Bowling Alleys, Bingo Halls, Simulcast Racing, and Skating Rinks (May 22)
Bars (May 22)
Aquariums and Natural Caverns (May 22)
Zoos (May 29)
Day Youth Camps (May 31)
Overnight Youth Camps (May 31)
Youth Sports (May 31)
Certain professional sports without in-person spectators (May 31)
All sporting and camp activities are required to adhere by special safety standards, and minimum standard health protocols have been established for all newly-announced opened services and activities. Businesses located in office buildings may also open but must limit their occupancy to the greater of 10 employees or 25% of their workforce.
Additionally, restaurants may expand their occupancy to 50% beginning May 22. Bars—including wine tasting rooms, craft breweries, and similar businesses—may open at 25% occupancy but like restaurants, these occupancy limits do not apply to outdoor areas that maintain safe distancing among parties.
Opened services and activities under Phase II are subject to certain occupancy limits and health and safety protocols. For details and a full list of guidelines, openings, and relevant dates, visit www.gov.texas.gov/opentexas.