As students are getting out for summer break, more options are reopening to keep them entertained. Zoos and water parks are allowed to open up Friday as part of an update from Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday.
Abbott's Strike Force to Open Texas encourages people to continue wearing face coverings when visiting any of these establishments. However, people who do not wear face masks cannot be penalized, civilly or criminally.
Occupancy limits are still in place for some businesses. Listed occupancies don't apply to outdoor areas or outdoor facilities.
Here’s what is reopening Friday
Water parks may operate up to 25% of the total listed occupancy. Hands-on interactive areas, such as child play areas or video game areas, must remain closed.
Recommended health protocols from the Governor's Strike Force to Open Texas include appropriate cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
"Have employees and contractors maintain at least 6 feet of separation from other individuals," the protocols say. "If such distancing is not feasible, other measures such as face covering, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness, and sanitation should be rigorously practiced."
Employees should be screened for symptoms related to COVID-19 before coming into the water park.
The state also recommends making hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water, or other disinfectants, available to employees and customers.
For implementing 6-feet social distancing, such as standing in lines or other areas of the water park, the state recommends placing dividers.
"If 6 feet of separation is not available between employees, contractors, and/or customers inside the facility, consider the use of engineering controls, such as dividers between individuals, to minimize the chances of transmission of COVID-19."
Zoos can operate up to 25% of the normal operating capacity. Indoor areas of zoos, other than restrooms, must remain closed. Interactive exhibits must remain closed.
Employees should be screened for symptoms related to COVID-19 before coming into the zoo.
There should be frequent cleaning and disinfecting of any regular touched surfaces, like doorknobs, tables, chairs and restrooms.
The Dallas Zoo and Fort Worth Zoo told WFAA they are both implementing these protocols and others. Both zoos are requiring advance online reservations to ensure proper guest capacity.
Here’s what is coming up
Recreational sports programs for adults can resume without spectators.
Day youth camps, overnight youth camps and youth sports can also resume with recommended state health protocols.
Professional sporting events can also resume. Spectators are allowed for outdoor events, which should be limited to 25% capacity. Spectators are not allowed for indoor events.
Included in this category are professional basketball, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, football and car racing events, as approved on a league-by-league basis by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
In-person summer school classes may begin.
Teachers, students and staff can return to campus for administrative duty or cleaning out classrooms.
Texas Department of Public Safety offices in North Texas will reopen with limited capacity.
On Friday at 1 p.m., people who currently do not possess a Texas DL, CDL, learner permit or ID card, as well those who are in need of a drive test, can begin scheduling appointments to visit their local office.
When Phase 4 begins, customers can schedule an appointment for all driver's license office transactions anywhere in the state. That is expected to begin midsummer, the task force says.
Games and competitions for recreational sports programs, including for youth sports, can begin.
What is still not allowed:
Visiting long-term care facilities
There are no visitations of nursing homes, state-supported living centers, assisted living facilities or long-term care facilities allowed, unless to provide critical assistance as determined by guidance from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Abbott said in his Executive Order.
Crowds at concerts or other events
There's been no word on when spectators will be allowed again at large-gathering events, like festivals, or traditional concerts.
Drive-in concerts are allowed, as long as spectators remain in their vehicles and maintain social-distancing, Abbott said.
What has been reopened
Abbott has allowed most businesses and places to reopen and encourage them to follow safety and health protocols, like wearing a face mask, 6-foot social distancing and hygiene etiquette.
Retailers: can operate up to 25% occupancy.
Restaurants: can operate up to 50% occupancy.
Movie theaters: can operate up to 25% occupancy.
Museums and libraries: can operate up to 25% occupancy.
Outdoor sport participants: the state recommends that outdoor sports do not include contact with other participants and no more than four participants play the sport at any time.
Churches & places of worship: can operate up to 25% occupancy.
Wedding receptions and venues: can operate up to 25% occupancy.
Nail salons and barbershops: can operate up to 25% occupancy.
Parks, beaches, bodies of water (including swimming pools): can operate up to 25%, where local government permits.
Tanning salons: can operate up to 25% occupancy.
Cosmetology/hair salons: can operate up to 25% occupancy.
Golf courses can reopen.
Gyms and workout facilities: can operate up to 25% occupancy.
Child care centers: can operate with modified caregiver-to-child ratios as outlined by the state.
Massage, personal-care, beauty services: can open with 6-feet social distancing between work stations.
Youth clubs: can open with no more than 10 participants for an indoor meeting.
Bars: can operate up to 25% occupancy in indoor areas
Bowling alleys, bingo halls and skating rinks: can operate up to 25% occupancy.
Rodeo/equestrian events: can operate up to 25% occupancy at facilities for the event. This guidance is for the event, not larger gatherings such as county fairs, Abbott said in his Executive Order.
Aquariums, natural caverns: can operate up to 25%. Hands-on exhibits must remain closed.
Driving schools/education programs: can operate up to 25% for classroom instruction. In-car instruction is allowed.
Food court dining areas within shopping malls can reopen.