Latest reopening in Texas includes bars, professional sports, summer school classes
Texas bars are back in business, part of the state's latest reopening phase in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a press conference on May 18, Gov. Greg Abbott unveiled the latest round of reopenings, which can take place over the coming weeks.
Businesses allowed to open include bars, professional sports, and summer school classes, as long as they follow safety procedures.
Bars can reopen open May 22 with 25 percent capacity, along with wine tasting rooms and craft beer breweries. Restaurants, which were allowed to reopen on May 1, can now increase their capacity to 50 percent, doubling their previous capacity of 25 percent.
Those capacity limits do not extend to outdoor areas.
Entertainment venues including bowling alleys, drive-in movie theaters, zoos, and aquariums, are also allowed to reopen on May 22, also at 25 percent.
The full list of businesses allowed to reopen can be found on gov.texas.gov/opentexas.
"COVID-19 still exists in Texas," Abbott said. "Our goal is to find ways to coexist with COVID-19 as safely as possible, including maintaining safe distances, wearing a mask, and sanitizing your hands. It is a fact that these safe practices save lives."
"Another safe practice that must be followed is protecting our most vulnerable populations," he said. "As we move into phase 2, the safest strategy for those people is to continue to stay at home."
Child care services, including boys and girls clubs and YMCA programs, will be allowed to open.
On May 31, youth sports camps, little league programs, summer camps, daytime and overnight camps, scouting camps, vacation Bible school camps, and 4H camps can reopen.
Abbott said that some professional sports can return on May 31 — but without in-person spectators — including golf, auto racing, baseball, softball, tennis, football, and basketball.
Summer school classes can begin June 1.
"All of these can open as long as they follow safe distancing practices," Abbott said.