Gov. Abbott issues protocols to reopen shops, restaurants, movies, etc. on Friday: Here’s how it is to work

The Governor’s Report to Open Texas

“As we open Texas, we are each called upon to be Texans: to act responsibly as we re-engage in the economy, to continue following all health precautions and sanitizing guidelines, and to care for our vulnerable neighbors. Lives depend on our actions. I know you will respond as Texans,” Gov. Greg Abbott stated April 27.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced the first phase of reopening the economy, allowing retail stores, movie theaters, malls and restaurants to reopen on May 1 at a limited capacity. MIGUEL GUTIERREZ JR. The Texas Tribune

Protocols for phase one reopening starting May 1 for customers, business owners and organizations like churches, libraries and museums are found at the Texas Governor website:

First to open Friday: retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls. But they are only allowed to operate at 25% capacity. Museums and libraries will also be allowed to open at 25% capacity, but hands-on exhibits must remain closed.

The protocols for customers are similar for restaurants, shops or the movies. Gov. Abbott asks people to self-screen for any of the following new or worsening signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19:


Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing


Repeated shaking with chills

Muscle pain


Sore throat

Loss of taste or smell


Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees


Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19

In addition to self-screening, there are other mandates for theaters, shops and restaurants, which are not allowed to have tables of more than 6 people.

Wash or disinfect hands upon entering a restaurant, movie theater or shop and after any interaction with employees, other customers, or items.

Customers should wash or sanitize their hands after the payment process.

Also maintain at least 6-feet separation from other individuals not within the same household. If such distancing is not feasible, other measures such as face covering, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness, and sanitation should be rigorously practiced.

Consistent with the actions taken by many individuals across the state, consider wearing cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth) when not at the table or seat, or when within 6-feet of another person who is not a member of the individual’s household. If available, individuals should consider wearing non-medical grade face masks.

Health protocols for serving church and worship attendees:

Strongly encourage the at-risk population to watch or participate in the service remotely.

Designate an area inside the facility reserved for the at-risk population, or offer a service for at-risk population attendees only.

Ensure proper spacing between attendees:

Keep at least two empty seats (or six feet separation) between parties in any row, except as follows:

  • Two or more members of the same household can sit adjacent to one another, with two seats (or six feet separation) empty on either side.
  • Two individuals who are not members of the same household but who are attending together can sit adjacent to one another, with two seats (or six feet separation) empty on either side.
    Alternate rows between attendees (every other row left empty).