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Reopening in Texas: Here's everything opening for Memorial Day weekend

Restaurants can expand to 50% occupancy, and bars can open at 25% capacity Friday.

Texas is now entering the second phase of Gov. Greg Abbott's reopening plan after businesses closed for weeks in an effort to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Abbott announced Monday that day cares and personal care businesses could reopen that day and bars could reopen Friday. 

State leaders have laid out details of how individual types of businesses can operate. Some businesses are limited to a lower occupancy while others have to adopt additional cleaning measures. 

Abbott has encouraged Texans to wear masks when they go out and to practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet apart from others in public. And while state guidelines recommend limiting interactions with people outside the household, gatherings are not restricted. 

Here's a breakdown of what businesses are required to do:

Bars

Bars are allowed to reopen Friday at 25% occupancy. Patrons are encouraged to wear face coverings when possible and try to stay 6 feet away from others. People are also encouraged to sanitize and wash their hands regularly. 

Requirements include: 

  • Service only provided to seated people 
  • Customers cannot loiter at the bar
  • Parties should be 6 feet from others
  • Dancing is discouraged 
  • Contactless payment is recommended

RELATED: Checklist: How Texas bars will operate when they can reopen May 22

Child care centers 

Child care centers are currently allowed to open. Parents are asked to sanitize everything their child takes with them into the facility, including lunchboxes, reusable containers and toys.

Requirements include: 

  • Consider making all employees wear face coverings
  • Require sick children and staff to stay home
  • Limit the number of people coming into the facility to essential personnel 
  • Keep cribs/naptime mats at least 6 feet apart
  • Screen all employees and children before coming into the facility
  • Install hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility

RELATED: As Texas child care centers reopen, reduced enrollment could cost parents more in tuition

Gyms

Gyms were cleared to reopen this week. Everyone who goes must wear gloves and facial coverings are encouraged. Locker rooms and showers remained closed at fitness studios and occupancy is limited to 25%.

Requirements include: 

  • Employees should wash their hands when they enter the facility 
  • Workout equipment should be spaced 6 feet apart 
  • Hand sanitizing stations should be available 
  • Surfaces should be regularly disinfected

RELATED: Gyms in Texas prepare to open Monday with enhanced emphasis on cleanliness, customer safety

Restaurants

Restaurants are allowed to expand to 50% occupancy on Friday. The establishments can continue to offer to-go food or delivery options. Interactive areas, including arcade games or child play areas, must remain closed. Outdoor seating is not limited to 50% capacity. 

Requirements include: 

  • No tables can seat more than six people 
  • Hand sanitizing should be available throughout the restaurant 
  • Parties must be 6 feet apart from all other parties 
  • Condiments, silverware or glassware cannot be left on unoccupied tables 
  • Contactless payment is encouraged

RELATED: Is it safer to hang out at a bar or go to a backyard barbecue? Check out our list of risks

Skating rinks, bingo halls, bowling alleys

The entertainment facilities can reopen at 25% capacity. There must be 6 feet of space between customers. Child play areas and video arcades must remain closed. Customers are encouraged to wear face masks. 

Requirements include:

  • Stay in groups of 10 people or less
  • Sanitize the facility and clean off the equipment after each use
  • Use contactless payment when possible
  • Keep all food and drink in contained, single-use, individually wrapped items

Zoos and aquariums

Zoos are allowed to reopen Friday, May 29, and aquariums and natural caverns are allowed to reopen Friday. Patrons are encouraged to wear face masks and practice social distancing. Each facility is allowed to operate at 25% capacity. 

Requirements include:

  • Stay in groups of 10 people or less
  • Sanitize the facility and barricade off frequently touched items as much as possible
  • Make disinfectant readily available 
  • Keep all food and drink in contained, single-use, individually wrapped items

RELATED: Dallas, Fort Worth zoos to reopen May 29


Editor's note: This story originally stated zoos are reopening May 22. This has been corrected to May 29. 

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