HOUSTON (Reuters) – Texas will allow its coronavirus stay-at-home order to expire and begin re-opening businesses including restaurants and retail stores in phases beginning on Friday, state Governor Greg Abbott said.
The first business reopenings will require safe practices including limiting the number of people allowed into stores, movie theaters and malls to 25% of their licensed capacity, Abbott said on Monday. A second phase of openings could begin two weeks later.
“We want to reopen as quickly and as safely as we can,” said Abbott, citing the use of capacity limits that match those now in use at grocery and home improvement stores in the state.
The second phase of the openings will depend on the status of the outbreak in Texas over coming days. If infection rates continue to decline, the state could allow up to 50% capacity limits on May 18.
The state’s number of new infections