Many states, including Texas, now on path to reopening

The first phase of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's economic reopening plan begins May 1. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
The first phase of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's economic reopening plan begins May 1. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

The first phase of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's economic reopening plan begins May 1. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

May 1 marks the beginning of Gov. Greg Abbott’s first statewide phase of economic reopening. Announced April 27, Abbott’s plan will allow select businesses to open with limited service while maintaining health and sanitary recommendations for workers and customers.

In Texas, establishments including retailers, malls, movie theaters and restaurants will be allowed to open to customers at 25% capacity statewide, while counties with fewer than five confirmed COVID-19 cases meeting several other criteria may allow up to 50% capacity. Businesses including bars, gyms, salons and tattoo parlors are not permitted to reopen as of May 1.


Here is how other state governments are planning to reopen, as of May 1:

  • Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced details of his Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan on April 22. The first phase of that plan went into effect April 24 and allowed restaurants and retailers to reopen at 25% capacity provided they maintain certain sanitization and distancing protocols and require face masks to be worn by all employees. Nonessential businesses may also operate at 25% capacity on a reservation-only basis and and non-public-facing businesses may resume office work with social distancing protocols in place. Dunleavy’s plan also permits personal service businesses such as salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors to reopen under a 1-1 staff-customer ratio with sanitary and face covering requirements in place. Gyms are also permitted to reopen on a reservation-only basis with social distancing protocols in place. More details on Alaska’s plan may be found here.

  • Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s statewide stay-at-home order is set to expire April 30. The order allowed residents to leave home for essential supplies and services, worship services, outdoor activities, and to provide care. Ivey’s order may be found here.

  • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey extended his state’s stay-at-home order, excluding essential activities through May 15. Beginning May 4, businesses may reopen under limited occupancy or by appointment or with curbside and delivery services. Those measures will be expanded to allow further reopening with social distancing protocols and limited occupancy May 8. Updates on Arizona’s reopening plan may be found here.

  • Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s Economic Recovery Task Force is expected to present initial statewide reopening recommendations May 4. Arkansas restaurants will be permitted to reopen for dine-in services May 11 at one-third capacity with social distancing and sanitary protocols in place. Employees will also be required to wear face coverings. Bars and entertainment venues will remain closed. Restrictions on state park rentals for campsites, cabins and RVs were lifted for Arkansas residents May 1, and state park facilities including gift shops, museums and marinas will reopen May 15. More information from Hutchinson’s office may be found here.

  • California's stay-at-home order for residents and nonessential businesses has remained in effect since mid-March, and Gov. Gavin Newsom has not announced the state's reopening plans. The stay-at-home order may be viewed here.

  • After Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’s statewide stay-at-home order expired April 27, the state began transitioning toward reopening through its Safer At Home plan. Beginning April 27, retail businesses were permitted to reopen for curbside service. Beginning May 1, retailers and personal service businesses are permitted to reopen with sanitary practices in place. Beginning May 4, offices will be allowed to reopen under 50% capacity with similar guidelines in place. Polis’ Safer At Home order may be viewed here.

  • Connecticut remains under a statewide stay-at-home order set to expire May 20. Gov. Ned Lamont said the state may target May 20 for its next phase of reopening. The state's stay-at-home order may be viewed here.

  • Delaware remains in a state of emergency until further notice. Gov. John Carney's latest modification of the emergency order may be viewed here.

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ issued his first phase of the state’s Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery on April 29 via executive order. Restaurants, retailers, museums and libraries will be permitted to reopen May 4 at 25% capacity, while bars and nightclubs will not be permitted to sell alcoholic beverages. Gyms will not be permitted to reopen. DeSantis’ full order may be viewed here.

  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s statewide shelter-in-place order will expire May 1. Businesses in the state are allowed to operate under strict social distancing and sanitary protocols lasting through at least May 13, while restaurants were permitted to reopen for dine-in service April 27 with capacity limits and distancing and sanitary protocols in place. Kemp’s latest guidance for the state’s business operations may be viewed here.

  • Hawaii Gov. David Ige extended the state's stay-at-home order through May 31, although outdoor recreation is now permitted. Ige's latest emergency proclamation may be viewed here.

  • Idaho Gov. Greg Little announced his state was entering its first reopening stage April 30. Under Little’s plan, most businesses, places of worship and child care centers are permitted to reopen May 1. Restaurants must remain closed for dine-in service but may offer pickup and delivery options. Restaurants, gyms and personal service businesses such as salons may be allowed to reopen May 16 in line with the state’s second reopening stage, while bars are not permitted to reopen. Little’s Stay Health Order, effective May 1, may be viewed here.

  • Illinios Gov. J.B. Pritzker extended the state's disaster proclamation for an additional 30 days April 30. The full proclamation may be viewed here.

  • Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s statewide stay-at-home order is set to expire May 1. Under that order, residents were required to remain at home except for essential activities. All nonessential businesses and restaurants were closed to customers but were allowed to continue curbside or delivery ordering services.

  • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds loosened many of her state’s social distancing and business closure restrictions in an executive order signed April 27. Effective May 1, Iowa restaurants, gyms and malls will be permitted to reopen at 50% capacity with social distancing and sanctuary protocols in place. Nonessential businesses will remain closed but may offer curbside pickup or delivery services. Bars, theaters, salons, barbershops and museums will remain closed as of May 1. Reynolds’ April 27 order may be viewed here.

  • In mid-April, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly extended her statewide stay-at-home order through May 3. Kelly’s order may be viewed here.

  • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced a tentative reopening schedule for the state April 29. Beshear said construction and manufacturing, vehicle dealerships, pet grooming and professional services—at 50% capacity—may reopen May 11. Retail businesses and houses of worship may reopen May 20, and barbershops, salons and other personal services may reopen May 25. A reopening timeline for restaurants, gyms and movie theaters has not been determined. More information on Kentucky's reopening plans may be found here.

  • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards extended the state's stay-at-home order through May 15. Nonessential retailers may remain open with a capacity limit of 10 people or less, while malls are permitted to reopen for curbside service and restaurants are permitted to open for outdoor service as of April 30. Salons, barber shops and bars remain closed. Louisiana's latest stay-at-home order may be viewed here.

  • On April 28, Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced a four-stage plan to reopen her state’s economy. Beginning May 1, businesses such as barber shops, hair salons, auto dealerships and drive-in movie theaters will be allowed to reopen with safety precautions in place. The second phase, expected to begin June 1, will allow retailers, restaurants, gyms and nail salons to reopen. Bars and personal care services, including spas and tattoo parlors, will reopen under a third phase in July and August, to be followed by a fourth stage allowing all businesses to resume regular operations. Mills' plan may be viewed here.

  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan released the state's Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery plan April 24. The phased plan will begin with the reopening of small stores and limited outdoor fitness and religious gatherings, followed by a second phase including indoor fitness and religious gatherings and limited restaurant and bar reopenings. A final phase would include higher-capacity restaurant and bar limits and larger religious and social gatherings. A timeline for the plan was not announced as of April 30. The Maryland Strong plan may be viewed here.

  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker extended his state's stay-at-home order and closure of nonessential businesses through May 18. Baker's latest order may be viewed here.

  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the state's stay-at-home order and closure of nonessential businesses through May 18. Whitmer's latest order may be viewed here.

  • On April 30, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 18. Beginning May 4, retailers will be allowed to reopen for curbside services provided both customers and employees wear face coverings. Delivery services may also be offered if retailers had a delivery system in place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. An April 30 executive order also permitted industrial and office employees to return to work if their place of business is not customer-facing. More information on Minnesota’s COVID-19 response may be found here.

  • Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves enacted a statewide stay-at-home order April 27 effective through May 11. All retailers may remain open at 50% capacity and with sanitary measures in place, while restaurants and bars may remain open for curbside, drive-thru or delivery service. Reeves’ April 27 order may be viewed here.

  • The first phase of Missouri’s Show Me Strong Recovery Plan will go into effect May 4, while the state’s stay-at-home order is set to expire May 3. Under the recovery plan health order, retailers will be allowed to operate under 25% capacity if located in 10,000 square feet of space or less or under 10% capacity if located in 10,000 square feet of space or more. Restaurants may also resume dine-in services with social distancing and sanitary protocols in place, including a table seating limit of 10 people. The Show Me Strong Recovery Plan health guidelines may be viewed here.

  • Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s statewide stay-at-home order expired for residents April 26 and for businesses April 27. Retailers are permitted to operate under limited capacity with distancing protocols in place, while businesses with limited distancing opportunities such as gyms and theaters remain closed. Houses of worship were permitted to reopen with social distancing protocols in place April 26. Restaurants and bars will be permitted to reopen for some services May 4. Bullock’s latest guidance may be viewed here.

  • Nebraska’s April 24 statewide directed health measure order remains in effect and provides for continued retail and restaurant operations with some restrictions. Restaurants are now permitted to operate at up to 50% capacity, with a six-person seating limit per table. Gyms and health spas are permitted to operate with social distancing practices in place. Salons, barbershops, movie theaters and tattoo parlors will remain closed through May 3. The full health order may be viewed here, and an update on restaurant guidelines may be viewed here.

  • Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced his Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery reopening plan April 30. Under the first phase of the plan, some retailers, small businesses and outdoor spaces may reopen May 15 with occupancy limits and strict distancing and sanitary protocols in place. Nevada’s statewide emergency stay-at-home order was also extended through May 15. The state recovery plan may be viewed here.

  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced the state's The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health reopening plan April 27. The state's stay-at-home order remains in effect indefinitely, and the reopening plan is contingent on a 14-day decrease in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. The Road Back plan may be viewed here.

  • New Hampshire Gov. Christopher Sununu’s statewide stay-at-home and business closure order is set to expire May 4. Under the order, all residents are required to remain at home except for some essential activities. All non-essential businesses remain closed. Sununu’s order may be viewed here.

  • New Mexico extended its statewide stay-at-home order through May 15. Nonessential retailers were also permitted to begin curbside pickup or delivery service beginning May 1, and state parks reopened on a limited day-use-only basis. Restaurants may also continue to provide curbside and delivery services. The state's April 30 health order may be viewed here.

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended the state's nonessential business closures through May 15 in an executive order signed April 16. The order may be viewed here.

  • North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper extended the state's stay-at-home order through May 8. Retailers are permitted to open at 20% capacity or a limit of five customers per 1,000 square feet of store space, with social distancing and sanitary protocols in place. Restaurants are closed for dine-in service but may offer drive-thru, carryout or delivery services. Cooper's latest order may be viewed here.

  • North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announced the state’s North Dakota Smart Restart reopening protocols for select industries April 28. Under that plan and an April 29 executive order, restaurants, gyms, salons, movie theaters and tattoo parlors are permitted to reopen under statewide distancing and sanitary protocols as well as industry-specific guidelines. The statewide reopening protocols may be viewed here.

  • Ohio Gov. Mark DeWine announced his Responsible Restart Ohio plan April 27. Under the program, offices and construction, distribution and manufacturing businesses are permitted to reopen May 4. Retail and service businesses will be permitted to reopen May 12 with distancing and sanitary protocols in place. Bars, restaurants, beauty salons, and gyms will remain closed. Details on the Responsible Restart Ohio plan may be viewed here.

  • Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced the state’s three-phase Open Up and Recover Safely plan April 22, which included guidelines for economic reopening. Under that program, recreation areas and state parks were permitted to open April 24 alongside personal service businesses such as barbershops and salons. Those businesses are required to operate by appointment only with distancing and sanitary protocols in place. Restaurants, movie theaters, entertainment or sports venues, places of worship and gyms are permitted to reopen May 1 with distancing and sanitary protocols in place. Bars will be permitted to reopen at limited, standing room-only capacity May 15. Oklahoma’s full reopening plan may be viewed here.

  • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced a framework for the state's reopening April 14. The guidelines will be contingent on the state's coronavirus case count and hospital capacity, and specific details on permitted business reopening were not included. Brown's March 23 statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect and allows restaurants to offer carryout and delivery services while businesses such as barbershops, salons, gyms and movie theaters remain closed. The order may be viewed here.

  • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is targeting May 8 as the start date for a phased reopening of some parts of the state. Beginning then, retailers would be permitted to reopen in-store operations while offering curbside and delivery services. Restaurants would remain limited to carryout and delivery services, while businesses such as gyms would remain closed. Pennsylvania's reopening plan may be viewed here.

  • Rhose Island Gov. Gina Raimondo's statewide stay-at-home order is in effect through May 8. Anyone traveling into Rhode Island from another state is also required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Raimondo's latest order may be viewed here.

  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster established an economic reopening task force, accelerateSC, April 20. Certain retailers, including clothing, jewelry, furniture, department and sporting goods stores, were also permitted to reopen April 20 under the lesser of 20% capacity or five customers per 1,000 square feet of retail space and with social distancing and sanitary protocols in place. Effective April 21, the state’s beaches and public piers and docks were reopened at the discretion of local jurisdictions. The state’s Home or Work order remains in effect. McMaster’s April 20 order may be viewed here.

  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced the state's Back to Normal plan April 28. Under the plan retailers and restaurants are permitted to operate with distancing and sanitary protocols in place. The plan outline may be viewed here.

  • Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee passed an executive order April 28 allowing most of the state’s businesses to reopen April 29. The order excluded bars, theaters, entertainment venues, barbershops and salons, although Lee amended the order April 29 to allow the reopening of barbers and salons beginning May 6. Places of worship were not included in the order, and nursing homes will remain closed to visitors. Under the orders, Tennessee residents are still encouraged to work from home and follow social distancing guidelines. Lee’s April 28 order may be viewed here.

  • Utah Gov. Gary Herbert downgraded the state’s coronavirus risk level from high to moderate risk and rescinded his statewide Stay Safe, Stay Home directive in an April 29 executive order. The lowered guidance allows restaurants to reopen dine-in services and nonessential retailers to reopen stores under strict distancing and sanitary protocols. The Utah Leads Together economic recovery plan may be viewed here.

  • Vermont Gov. Phil Scott's statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect while the state moves through a phased reopening. Under the first phase, retailers are permitted to operate curbside or delivery services, while outdoor retail spaces are permitted to reopen for 10 customers or less. Construction may resume with crews of two people or less. Scott's Phase 1 order may be viewed here.

  • Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced his Forward Virginia reopening plan April 24. The plan may begin as soon as May 8 and would allow for some businesses to reopen with strict distancing protocols in place. An outline of Northam's reopening plan may be viewed here.

  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s statewide Stay Home, Stay Healthy order remains in effect through May 4. While the stay-at-home order remains in place and most nonessential businesses remain closed, Inslee will reopen state parks in a limited capacity and allow some outdoor recreational activities beginning May 5. Inslee also allowed current construction projects to continue work in an April 29 memo. On April 21, Inslee also announced further information on business reopening will be provided as portions of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order are lifted. The stay-at-home order may be viewed here.

  • West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's West Virginia Strong: The Comeback plan to reopen some businesses and restaurants may be implemented as soon as May 4. The plan would allow businesses with 10 employees or less to reopen with distancing and sanitary protocols in place, while restaurants would be permitted to reopen outdoor seating areas and offer carryout and delivery services. An outline of the plan may be viewed here.

  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers' statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect through May 26. On April 20, Evers announced his Badger Bounce Back plan to reopen the state's economy in phases, which will begin after the stay-at-home order expires. The reopening plan may be viewed here.

  • Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon announced April 28 that salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors will be permitted to reopen May 1 at a capacity of less than nine people per room with distancing protocols in effect and all employees wearing face coverings. Gyms will also be permitted to reopen May 1 with similar restrictions, in addition to closed locker rooms and frequent sanitization procedures. Restaurants, bars and other businesses are permitted to offer curbside, drive-thru or delivery services. The state’s latest health orders related to those establishments may be viewed here and here.

By Ben Thompson
Ben joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2019 and is a reporter for The Woodlands edition.


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