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The original item was published from 4/29/2020 10:58:09 AM to 6/12/2020 1:53:53 PM.

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Parks & Recreation

Posted on: April 29, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Phase 1 to Reopen Texas Businesses Starts May 1

Photo of the Downtown Square

On Monday, Governor Greg Abbott released a new Executive Order (GA 18) outlining plans for the first phase of cautiously reopening Texas businesses while prioritizing COVID-19 safety restrictions. Testing will also be increased across the state in order to monitor public health as some restrictions are lifted.

Starting this Friday, May 1, businesses including restaurants, retail shops, movie theaters, malls, museums, libraries and single-person offices may reopen, limited to 25% capacity. Licensed healthcare professionals may return to work under the rules of their respective licensing agencies, and licensed hospitals must reserve 15% of their capacity for treating COVID-19 patients. Outdoor sports classified as “no-contact,” including tennis and golf, are allowed as long as they are limited to groups of 4.

Any business needing to determine its occupancy limit may contact the San Marcos Fire Department Prevention Division at 512.805.2600 or and an inspector will respond to your location and calculate the allowed occupancy.

Salons, barber shops, spas, gyms, bars, interactive amusement venues like bowling alleys and video arcades, tattoo and piercing studios, and massage establishments must remain closed for now. Interactive areas with hands-on activities, including child play areas, should also remain closed.

“As a community, this is our opportunity to reopen our economy with everyone’s safety in mind,” said Mayor Jane Hughson. “We strongly recommend that residents and business owners incorporate masks or face coverings, practice safe distancing measures, initiate sanitation protocols, and continue responsible social practices so we can eventually open all businesses.”  

All City facilities that are currently closed, including the public library, parks and playscapes, will remain closed at this time and opening will be evaluated in coordination with the results of the additional state testing and the Governor’s actions to move to Phase 2 in reopening Texas. 

The state plans to expand testing to 25,000 tests administered per day in early May. If data from this additional testing shows that the virus is being appropriately contained, Phase 2 of the Governor’s plan to reopen Texas businesses could begin as early as May 18.

A helpful FAQ related to the new Order is posted at Mayor Hughson’s latest Order and Public Health Advisory, Governor Abbott’s Executive Orders, and the complete Open Texas Report may also be viewed at this link.

For general questions regarding reopening your business, contact 512.393.5930. For media inquiries, contact


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