Texas governor announces bars to open Friday, child care services to open immediately
Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday announced plans for the next phase in reopening the state, saying bars can open Friday at 25% capacity and restaurants can increase to 50% capacity. Childcare services, such as daycare centers and programs like the YMCA, can open immediately and summer camps will be allowed to open May 31.
Aquariums, bowling alleys, bingo halls, skating rinks, rodeos and zoos will also be allowed to reopen Friday. Little Leagues will be allowed to start practicing May 31.
All new businesses opening Friday will only be allowed to operate at 25% capacity.
Under Abbott's phased reopening plan, restaurants opened first on May 1 at 25% capacity. Barbershops and salons followed with restrictions on May 8. Gyms were allowed to reopen Monday as long as they stayed at 25% capacity, and locker rooms and showers remain closed.
The next phase in the Lone Star State's reopening comes just days after Texas reported the largest single-day increase in confirmed cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began. The state has ramped up testing in areas it deemed high risk.
Plans to reopen in El Paso and Amarillo, two hotspot regions, are delayed a week. The Amarillo region reported a huge spike in cases after testing was increased at meatpacking plants, accounting for more than 700 of the 1,801 new cases reported Saturday. El Paso leaders asked not to be included in the next phase of reopening, and Abbott said Monday that hospital capacity in El Paso is "too close for comfort."
On Monday, Texas reported over 900 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 fatalities.
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