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Governor expands business openings in Texas effective May 8

Posted May 6, 2020

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order this week to expand openings of certain businesses and activities.

“Texas is in a position to continue opening parts of our economy because of the efforts and determination of the people of Texas,” Abbott said. “Over the past month, Texans have worked together to contain the spread of COVID-19 by following social distancing practices and staying at home whenever possible. As we move forward, I urge all Texans to continue following these social distancing guidelines and the health standards we have provided. With every Texan doing their part, we will contain COVID-19, we will unleash our entrepreneurs and we will make it through this challenge together.”

Beginning May 8, cosmetology salons, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and shops and other establishments where licensed cosmetologists or barbers practice their trade may open. All such salons, shops and establishments must ensure at least six feet of social distancing between operating work stations.

Tanning salons may also reopen under the same limitation.

Beginning May 18, office buildings may open with the greater of five or fewer individuals or 25% of the total office workforce. These individuals must maintain appropriate social distancing.

Gyms, exercise facilities and exercise classes may also open on May 18, but must operate at 25% occupancy. Locker rooms and shower facilities will remain closed, but restrooms may open.

Nonessential manufacturing services may also open on May 18 but facilities must limit their occupancy to 25%.

Wedding venues and services required to conduct weddings may immediately open. Weddings held indoors other than at a church, congregation or house of worship must limit occupancy to 25%. Wedding reception services may also resume, but facilities must limit their occupancy to 25% of the total listed occupancy. These occupancy limits do not apply to the outdoor areas of a wedding reception or to outdoor wedding receptions.

These newly-opened services are subject to recommended minimum standard health protocols outlined by the Department of State Health Services.

Surge response team to tackle flare-ups

The governor announced that surge response teams will serve nursing homes, prisons, packing plants and other facilities that experience flare-ups of COVID-19 by providing personal protective equipment, testing supplies, onsite staffing and assessment assistance. These teams will work with local officials to establish health and social distancing standards to contain these flare-ups.

Several surge response teams have already been deployed to locations across the state.

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