Texas Reopening: Bars, child care, sports among businesses opening in May

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday outlined the next businesses that will be allowed to reopen in phases this month.

Gov. 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.

RELATED: What you need to know about Phase One

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. Abbott said childcare services were allowed to be open immediately.

MORE: Hair salons, barbershops, tanning salons can open Friday, May 8; gyms May 18

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.

Now in Effect as of May 18, 2020

Child Care Centers

Child Care Families

Massage and Personal-Care, Beauty Services

Massage and Personal-Care, Beauty Service Customers

Youth Clubs

Youth Club Participants

Youth Sports Operators

Youth Sports Families

In Effect May 22, 2020


Bar Patrons

Bowling Alleys, Bingo Halls, Simulcasting, Skating Rinks

Bowling, Bingo, Simulcasting, Skating Customers

Rodeo / Equestrian Events

Zoos, Aquariums, Natural Caverns

Zoo, Aquarium, Natural Cavern Visitors

In Effect May 31, 2020

Day Youth Camp Operators

Day Youth Camp Families

Overnight Youth Camp Operators

Overnight Youth Camp Families

Professional Sports Without In-Person Spectators

Abbott cited improved numbers in hospitalizations and in the positivity rate in opening more parts of the economy.

MORE: Texas launches online statewide COVID-19 test collection map

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.