Gov. Abbott announces Phase III to Open Texas

On June 3,  Gov. Greg Abbott announced the third phase of Texas' plan to safely reopen the economy amid the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Under Phase III, effective immediately, all Texas businesses will be allowed to operate at up to 50% capacity with limited exceptions. Furthermore, businesses previously allowed to operate at 100% capacity may continue to do so. 


"The people of Texas continue to prove that we can safely and responsibly open our state for business while containing COVID-19 and keeping our state safe,” said Abbott. "As anticipated, the new positive cases that we are seeing are largely the result of isolated hot spots in nursing homes, jails, and meatpacking plants. Thanks to the effectiveness of our Surge Response Teams, we have the ability to contain those hot spots while opening up Texas for business."

As of now, most outdoor areas are not subject to capacity limits and the state recommends that customers and businesses should continue to follow minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).


"As we begin Phase III, I ask all Texans and Texas businesses to continue following the standard health protocols and to heed the guidance of our state and federal officials who continue to closely monitor COVID-19. If we remain vigilant, we will continue to mitigate the spread of this virus, protect public health, and get more Texans back to work and their daily activities," Abbott said. 

FOX 7 Austin spoke to bar owner Bob Woody on Wednesday afternoon about the increase in capacity and he said it makes it a difference for bars and restaurants operating with no outside seating or a patio.

“It’s a life changer for them,” Woody said. “Now they can get to a point where they are breaking even or even making a little bit of money.”

And that difference is can be a step towards normalcy.

“We want to get to normal,” he said. “That’s the deal. These are the little things, glimpse of where we are headed. And all it is – is going back to where we’ve been.”

Phase III Timeline

Effective June 3:

  • All businesses currently operating at 25% capacity can expand their occupancy to 50% with certain exceptions. 
  • Bars and similar establishments may increase their capacity to 50% as long as patrons are seated.
  • Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with less than 1,000 confirmed positive cases may open at 50% capacity. 
  • Restaurants may expand their maximum table size from 6 to 10 persons.  

Effective June 12:

  • Restaurants may expand their occupancy levels to 75%. 
  • Counties with 10 or less active COVID-19 cases may expand their occupancy limits to 75%. Counties that fit this category but have not previously filed an attestation with DSHS will need to do so.

Effective June 19:

  • Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with more than 1,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 may open at 50% capacity.

The governor's office has stated that other special provisions have been made for outdoor gatherings, such as the Fourth of July, as long as local and local public health officials collaborate on safe standards. 

Open Texas Checklists: Phase III – June 3, 2020


Amusement Park Operators

Amusement Park Visitors

Fine Arts Performance Halls

Fine Arts Performance Hall Patrons

Media Production

Outdoor Events

Valet Parking

Video Game Facilities


All Employers and Event Organizers

All Individuals

Adult Recreational Sports Operators

Barber Shops

Barber Shop Customers


Bar Patrons

Bowling Alleys, Bingo Halls, Simulcasting, Skating Rinks

Bowling, Bingo, Simulcasting, Skating Customers

Cosmetology / Hair Salons

Cosmetology / Hair Salon Customers

Day Youth Camp Operators

Day Youth Camp Families

Gyms / Exercise Facilities

Low-COVID-19 Counties


Movie Theaters

Movie Theater Customers

Museums and Libraries

Museum and Library Visitors

Nail Salons

Nail Salon Customers

Office-Based Employers

Outdoor Motorsports Events  

Outdoor Sports Participants

Overnight Youth Camp Operators

Overnight Youth Camp Families

Parks / Beaches / Bodies of Water   

Professional Sports Leagues


Restaurant Customers


Retail Customers

Rodeo / Equestrian Events

Tanning Salons

Tanning Salon Customers

Waterpark Operators

Waterpark Visitors

Wedding Reception Venues

Wedding Reception Attendees

Wedding Venues

Wedding Attendees

Youth Clubs

Youth Club Participants

Youth Sports Operators

Zoos, Aquariums, Natural Caverns

Zoo, Aquarium, Natural Cavern Visitors



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