Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Friday new orders that will re-open Texas in several stages. He established a statewide strike force made up of Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, and Attorney General Ken Paxton as well as business and medical leaders from across the state.
Beginning on Monday, all state parks will be allowed to re-open provided that visitors still wear face masks and stay six feet away from people that do not live in the same home. Groups of more than five people are prohibited.
On Wednesday, current restrictions on medical procedures and surgeries will loosen because Abbott said hospitals have “plenty of capacity,” and there is an ample supply of protective gear for medical personnel.
By next Friday, all retail stores will be allowed to operate as “retail-to-go.” They will work the same way that restaurants have been doing takeout service since the social distancing restrictions went into effect. Restaurants and bars would continue operating as takeout, curb service, or delivery.
All schools in Texas will remain closed for the remainder of the school year, but teachers will be allowed back into their classrooms to clean out supplies or to prepare lesson plans for potential summer classes.
Abbott said he would announce another phase of reopening on April 27 but didn’t say what kind of businesses would be allowed to resume.