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Texas Governor Greg Abbott Announces Restaurants Can Reopen May 1

Dining rooms are limited to 25 percent of normal capacity

Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America Photo by Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

In a press conference on Monday afternoon, Texas governor Greg Abbott announced that restaurants will be able to open their dining rooms on May 1 with very limited capacity.

Abbott’s newest executive order allows restaurants to reopen their dining rooms at 25 percent of normal capacity on May 1, along with a slew of new health protocols that restaurants that decide to open will be required to implement. According to these new guidelines, restaurants must seat all parties six feet apart from each other, and no groups of more than six diners may be seated together.

The rules also require restaurants to only provide condiments upon request, and to use disposable menus that are brand new for each patron. Buffet-style restaurants must only allow employees to serve food to diners, and contactless payment is “encouraged.” Restaurant employees should be screened before going to work, and operators should “consider having all employees wear cloth face coverings.”

In the press conference, Abbott noted that his executive order “supersedes” Dallas County’s “stay at home” order, which prohibits restaurants from serving diners in their dining rooms. The county’s order is currently in effect until May 15.

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