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Governor's second phase of business re-openings includes surprises

Posted at 7:41 PM, May 18, 2020

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The second phase of the plan that Gov. Greg Abbott calls Reopen Texas, an attempt to responsibly allow businesses to reopen from their COVID-19 pandemic-forced closures, includes some surprises.

Abbott had previously announced that gyms would be able to reopen on May 18 and that restaurants could increase their operating capacities from 25 percent to 50 percent. But at a press conference Monday, he announced additional reopenings for May 22, including bowling alleys, skating rinks and bars.

The governor said he's eager to get people in those industries back to work, calling the state's unemployment rate "too high" and "unacceptable."

"The reason the unemployment rate is where it is, is because of the businesses that were shut down," Abbott said. "The best thing that we can do is to continue to open up.”

Even more re-openings are set for the end of the month. Kids will be able to go to summer camps and play in youth sports leagues starting May 31.

Abbott's reopening orders include extensive steps that businesses must take to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus. You can read more about them by clicking here.

“Continue using safe distancing practices," Abbott said. "Wear face masks if at all possible, sanitize your hands — do everything you possibly can to continue to slow the spread. If you do that, there will be more opportunities to open up the state even more.”

Read more: Abbott lays out plans for reopening Texas