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The governor of Texas is following up on his plan to phase in reopening the Texas economy. Wearing a mask is not mandatory throughout the state, as it is in Harris County and Houston.

During a press conference today, Governor Greg Abbott detailed the plans in his “OPEN TEXAS REPORT”. He announced that the stay at home order for all Texans will be allowed to expire April 30th and no extension will be issued.

However, phases of reopening Texas will be implemented to avoid resurgence of COVID-19 in Texas.

The Gov. also remains focused on protecting our most vulnerable, those ages 65+. He’s advising those who are 65+ to stay home. Businesses should accommodate customers via delivery, and or curbside service. The Gov. will also increase infectious disease protocols at senior-living facilities.

Phase 1

On May 1, certain businesses will have the option to open back up but with a limited capacity of 25% at a time. Home Depot and HEB have been using these prudent strategies for the past month.

Businesses allowed to open at 25% capacity are retail stores, movie theaters, places of worship, libraries, malls and restaurants.

Museums may also open, but any hands on exhibits should remain closed.

Graphic provided by Office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Hair or nail salons aren’t on the list however. When asked “why,” Gov. Abbott attributed it to proximity of clients.

The Governor says data analysis will continue to monitor the control and spread of coronavirus to see if Phase 1 works.

We are Texans. We got this.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Texas citizens aren’t required to forego the stay at home order and would face no penalty for adherence.

However, businesses are not obligated to reopen is their businesses, but at a certain point be subject to losing their license for having an open business.

Most likely around May 18 More businesses open if there is no increase or flare-up of COVID-19 cases. An increase won’t mean an increase. They’ll look more closely at hospitalizations and deaths, hotspots, like near the panhandle. Data analysis from these focal points will be most considered.

Phase 2

Phase 2 may begin May 18th. The Governor’s office will continue to monitor testing, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19. Between May 1 – May 18th, the Gov. the Governor will consider further loosening restrictions to 50% capacity for permitted businesses at that point.

At the starting point for Phase 2, strategists will use the 2-weeks of data to show no flare-up of COVID-19, to then consider loosening restriction further.

The idea is to block in the number of cases to reduce spread of coronavirus. Here’s how it will work:

Graphic provided by TX Gov. Greg Abbott

The Governor said that four of the most important things he’s committed to for Texas are:

  • Commitment to safe-distancing
  • Reliance on doctors and data driven facts
  • Focus on protecting most vulnerable
  • Reminder that it’s entrepreneurs that fuel our economy

As for barber shops, salons, bars, gyms, and summer camps, they are not projected to reopen at this point.

No word on the 14-day self-mandate quarantine for travelers. If folks are traveling from Louisiana, this restriction remains in effect.