Texas lockdown expires on Thursday and the companies will reopen starting Friday

Texas lockdown expires on Thursday and the companies will reopen starting Friday
The order to stay in Texas expires on Thursday and the companies will reopen in phases starting Friday

Texas Governor Greg Abbott made a detailed plan Monday to reopen the state for trade amid the coronavirus epidemic, so that places like retail stores, restaurants and movie theaters could be opened to customers in limited capacity by Friday, May 1.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said wearing masks is recommended, but would not be required.

Abbott's move put Texas behind the nation's second-largest economy, California, which is at the forefront of the movement to reopen the state's economies as the United States outbreak COVID-19.

"We're not just making noise and hoping for the best," Abbott said during a news conference in Austin on Monday. "We are going to open it in a way that will also contain the virus and keep us safe."

He said: "A more strategic approach is needed so that we don't just stop again."

Along with retail stores, restaurants and movie theaters, Abbott said museums and libraries could be reopened on Friday at a 25 percent capacity. Single business owners can also open, and doctors and dentists can also resume normal operations.

Abbott said hospitals would still have to maintain 50 percent of their capacity for patients with COVID-19.

Churches and places of worship, which were allowed to remain open during orders to remain in the state house, are also allowed to expand their capacity, provided that socially distant measures are still in place.

Barbers, barber shops and bars will remain closed.

Barbers, barber shops and bars will remain closed.

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The governor's plan, which he says is supported by state and federal health officials, is part of a broader Texas strategy to gradually reopen businesses. Abbott said that by May 18, if there are no new spikes in Texas, he will move to two phases of the plan, which are about companies operating at 50 percent capacity.

"We will open in a way that uses safe standards," he said, noting that places like China and Singapore have seen a second wave of infection soon after reopening. "There is a reason why not all Texas companies can reopen all at once."

Texas, which has seen 25,297 confirmed cases of new coronaviruses with 663 deaths so far, is one of several states that plan to open or open their economies soon.

Mississippi raised its requests to stay home and is allowing companies to operate at 50 percent capacity. Montana is allowing retail companies to survive if they can meet requirements to limit capacity and maintain strict physical distances, and in Tennessee, restaurants can reopen with 50 percent occupancy. Alaska has reopened some companies with limited capacity.

Arkansas, Indiana and Iowa are allowing elective surgery, while Kentucky is allowing non-urgent / emergency health care, clinical radiology, and laboratory services to be performed in limited settings and Indiana. Ohio is allowing medical procedures that do not require an overnight stay until May 1 to resume.

Additionally, Colorado is allowing retail outlets to open for pavement delivery.

Minnesota is now allowing non-"customer-oriented" office, construction and industrial companies to return to work.

In Georgia, where Governor Bryan Kemp was criticized for his order to reopen businesses, theaters, private social clubs and restaurants, which are all running again.

Abbott's announcement comes as the Trump administration is drafting new guidelines on how restaurants, schools, churches, and businesses can safely reopen nationwide. A draft White House plan includes suggestions such as closing break rooms in offices, using disposable menus in restaurants, and having students eat lunch in their classrooms.

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