Gov. Greg Abbott is allowing Texas’ stay-at-home order to expire on Friday, which will kickstart Phase 1 of loosening restrictions.
As of 12:01 a.m. Friday, retailers, malls, movie theaters, businesses and churches can allow people through their doors, but only up to a 25 percent occupancy rate. That occupancy rate can be criminally enforced or the business could lose its operating license for violating the order.
Counties with less than five cases of COVID-19 on or after April 30, as verified by the Texas Department of State Health Services, can increase occupancy to up to 50 percent for restaurants, retail, shopping malls, museums and libraries, and movie theaters if they meet certain criteria.
Churches and other religious houses of worship will be allowed to meet in-person. Social distancing is encouraged and people who are considered at-risk should use online services when possible.
Non-essential businesses have been able to practice “retail-to-go” beginning April 24, meaning they can sell items that are then picked up curbside.
Restaurants can offer dine-in, but must remain at 25 percent capacity, unless the county has five or fewer cases of COVID-19. Parties must maintain 6-feet distance apart from other parties at all times, including while waiting to be seated.
Tables of more than six people are not allowed. Disposable menus are required for each new customer. Condiments are only available upon request, in single-use portions.
If a buffet is offered, restaurant employees serve the food to customers.
Counties that have less than five cases of COVID-19 can raise capacity to 50 percent. Bars are to remain closed, even if they serve food, The Texas Tribune reported.
Bars are not allowed to reopen during Phase I.
Movie theaters are allowed to reopen with 25 percent capacity, but Cinemark and Alamo Drafthouse said they will not be reopening Friday.
Outdoor sports are allowed as long as there are no more than four people are playing together at a time. Golf courses can reopen.
Local government operations, including county and municipal government operations relating to permitting, recordation, and document-filing services can be allowed to reopen as determined by the local government.
Malls can reopen with 25 percent capacity. The foodcourt dining areas, play areas, and interactive displays and settings must remain closed.
Dentist offices can reopen and begin seeing patients Friday with fewer restrictions.