Following a statewide order allowing restaurants to reopen their dining rooms at 25 percent capacity, Texas governor Greg Abbott has announced that patios can open at full capacity.
Abbott announced the news in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, clarifying that outdoor seating spaces like patios, courtyards, and sidewalk areas can seat diners at their original capacity, according to Eater Austin. In order to maintain proper social distancing guidelines, restaurants will be required to arrange tables six feet apart, and only seat parties of 6 people or fewer.
Abbott’s order also allows hair salons, gyms, tanning salons, and nail shops to open up on May 8, even though the Governor acknowledged in a call leaked by Progress Texas that reopening businesses across Texas would result in an increase of coronavirus cases. Listen to that audio here:
BREAKING: As @GovAbbott reopens the state in the midst of a rising infection and death rate, leaked audio from a call with Texas Legislators reveals that he knows reopening puts more Texans at risk. #txlege pic.twitter.com/kTK4M8gpSY— Progress Texas (@ProgressTX) May 5, 2020
Also in that press conference, Abbott asked bar owners to send in ideas of how their businesses could reopen while implementing social distancing guidelines, but did not announce a timeline for when establishments that mostly sell alcohol could reopen.