AUSTIN, Texas - Governor Greg Abbott said bars across the state can reopen beginning on Friday.
Bars were one of the last businesses in the state that had not been allowed to operate in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bars can reopen at 25 percent capacity, with no restrictions on outdoor areas.
Also on Friday, restaurants can operate at 50 percent instead of 25 percent capacity. “Texas is prepared to move into Phase 2 for the further opening of businesses,” Abbott said.
Youth sports camps can reopen on May 31 along with all summer camps and daytime and overnight camps.
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Abbott said childcare services were allowed to be open immediately.
Abbott said all of his openings were unanimously supported by his panel of experts that he is consulting on how to handle COVID-19 and businesses.
Abbott cited improved numbers in hospitalizations and in the positivity rate in opening more parts of the economy.
Abbott said most of the COVID-19 cases in Texas are at nursing homes, jails and meatpacking plants. He said efforts are ongoing to increase testing in the Amarillo area, specifically, the site of an outbreak at a plant. He also said testing rates were increasing.
"Just the first half of May we more than doubled the number of [COVID-19] tests in all of March and April combined,” Abbott said.
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