Bars, rodeos, sports, and youth activities will be back in action soon as Gov. Greg Abbott announced Phase 2 of his plan to reopen Texas.

Child care facilities and massage therapy businesses can reopen starting Monday, May 18.

Abbott cited a continued decrease in the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests along with a lower percentage of hospitalizations due to the disease as key indicators for beginning Phase 2 to restart the state’s economy after the stay-at-home order expired April 30.

The governor made the announcement during his Monday briefing.

“Texans have always faced adversity and Texans have always prevailed,” Abbott said. “We are getting through this, but now, more than ever, we must work together.”

He urged Texans to continue good health practices and social distancing to continue to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Abbott is allowing for the immediate reopening of child care facilities as more parents return to work. According to the governor, these include organizations such as the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club of America.

Also starting Monday, massage and personal care businesses can begin reopening with certain restrictions.

Bars can reopen starting Friday, May 22, at 25 percent occupancy along with other restrictions. This includes wine tasting rooms and craft beer taprooms.

Also on Friday, restaurant dining rooms can serve up to 50 percent capacity.

Abbott also gave the go-ahead for rodeos and other equestrian events to resume action on Friday at 25 percent spectator capacity and with other restrictions. However, larger events that include rodeos or equestrian events such as county fairs are not allowed at this time.

Youth sports, youth camps, and similar activities can resume May 31. Youth sports teams can begin holding practices on that date with no spectators other than one parent or guardian per youth. Games can restart June 15, with or without spectators. If people attend, they must maintain social distancing between those not in the same household.

Professional sports can resume competitions in Texas starting May 31 but without in-person spectators.

A full list of what is allowed to reopen in Texas and restrictions can be found on the Strike Force to Open Texas webpage.

As he announced more reopenings, Abbott was adamant that Texans not become complacent.

“As we open up, we must continue to place heath and safety foremost,” he cautioned.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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