AUSTIN, Texas - Governor Greg Abbott recently released his plan on reopening businesses in the state and getting Texans back to work and today begins the first phase of the plan.
Retail businesses, many of which have been considered non-essential during the coronavirus COVID-19 shutdowns, are now able to open up and offer options much like restaurants have been offering.
The businesses that are reopening will follow guidelines from state health officials.
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Customers are not allowed inside stores but can purchase items from a retail location for pickup, delivery by mail, or home delivery.
According to Texas Health and Human Services, all store employees must be trained in environmental cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
Employees must be screened for any coronavirus symptoms before coming to work and must wash or sanitize hands when arriving and dealing with each customer.
Workers must wear face coverings and maintain at least six feet separation form one another.
As for payments, officials recommend they be done over the phone or online if possible. If remote payment isn't available, customers are asked to minimize contact as much as possible.
Purchased items are expected to be delivered by store employees to the backseat or trunk of the customer's vehicle when possible to also minimize physical contact.
For delivery, officials say employees and third-party carriers should not be entering homes or businesses.
Gov. Abbott is expected to announce even further reopenings on Monday but he stressed that not every county will be treated equally. Some areas that have been hit harder may face tighter restrictions.
The governor suggested that restaurant dining rooms and salons could be the next businesses to partially reopen with safety precautions.
Jeweler Kendra Scott is one of about 40 people giving Governor Abbott feedback about reopening businesses. Many of Scott's Texas locations will be reopening today and offering curbside service.
Scott stresses that while it's great to have businesses reopen it's important to take it slow.
"Obviously this has been devastating to the Texas economy so it's how do we start to slowly thoughtfully and most of all safely reopen the state. And I think these first measures are a great way to begin that," Scott says.
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