Daycare centers, bars, professional sports and summer camps are the headliners of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's newly announced plans to continuing reopening the state as it navigates its way through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Childcare facilities and personal care businesses like massage parlors and tattoo shops can open immediately. Bars can open at 25% capacity Friday, while restaurants can double their current capacity to 50% of their licensed occupancy.
The occupancy limits do not apply to businesses' outdoor spaces as long as they comply with social distancing standards, according to the governor.
"As we open up, we must continue to place health and safety first and foremost," Abbott said.
In two weeks, Texas will allow youth sports leagues, sports camps and other summer camps to open. The state will also allow professional sports to restart, although that's a decision that is more likely to be made by the sports leagues themselves rather than the governor.
Some areas of Texas where there are ongoing surges in virus cases — El Paso and Amarillo specifically — will have a one-week delay before the new guidelines are put in place, according to the governor.
Abbott said Monday that Texas' recent increase in confirmed coronavirus cases likely stems from the state's increase in testing capacity. The state's infection rate has gone down over the last month, he said, proving that the state's path to reopening is the correct one.
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