June 5, 2020
On Wednesday, Governor Abbott announced Phase III of the Plan to Open Texas. Phase III includes three dates of note for additional business reopening:
Beginning June 3, a ll businesses currently operating at 25% capacity can expand their occupancy to 50% with certain exceptions. Bars and similar establishments may increase their capacity to 50% as long as patrons are seated. Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with less than 1,000 confirmed positive cases may open at 50% capacity. Restaurants may expand their maximum table size from 6 to 10 persons. Beginning June 12, r estaurants may expand their occupancy levels to 75%. Counties with 10 or less active COVID-19 cases may expand their occupancy limits to 75%.
Counties that fit this category but have not previously filed an attestation with DSHS will need to do so. Beginning June 19, a musement parks and carnivals in counties with more than 1,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 may open at 50% capacity.
Special provisions have been made for outdoor gatherings, such as Fourth of July celebrations, but it is imperative that local officials and public health officials collaborate on safe standards. In addition to authorizing all businesses at 50% indoor capacity, the executive order generally authorizes unlimited outdoor capacity limits, subject to appropriate social distancing. The following, however, are still subject to an outdoor limit of 50% of the normal operating limits:
- Professional, collegiate and similar sporting events
- Swimming pools
- Museums and libraries
- Zoos, aquariums, and natural caverns
- Rodeos and equestrian events
Outdoor gatherings estimated to exceed 500 people that are not outlined in the Executive Order may be further restricted by a local county judge or mayor. All businesses should continue to follow the minimum standard health protocols from DSHS. For details and a full list of guidelines, openings, and relevant dates, visit http://open.texas.gov .
Reminders for those going out:
- Individuals are encouraged to wear appropriate face coverings.
- People should not be in groups greater than ten when possible.
- People over the age of 65 are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.
- People are still asked to avoid nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities.
More information on Phase III can be found below, and the full text of the Governor’s Executive Order can be read here .