Information and protocols for businesses, customers before businesses begin to reopen May 1

April 28,2020

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Per Gov. Greg Abbott, Phase 1 of statewide efforts to reopen businesses will begin May 1, with these businesses being allowed, but not required, to open:

  • All retail stores, restaurants, theaters and malls given the option of reopening with no more than 25% occupancy.
  • Sole proprietors can also return to work, as can licensed healthcare professionals such as doctors and dentists.
  • Libraries and museums may open with 25% occupancy.

Barbershops, gyms, hair and nail salons and bars will remain closed May 1, but might reopen by mid-May during Phase 2. Implementation during Phase 2 depends on whether a spike in new infections occurs during the Phase 1 reopenings.

Protocol for all businesses

If they reopen, businesses will need to implement minimum health protocols. Employers may adopt additional protocols depending upon their circumstances to help protect the health and safety of their employees and customers.

  • Train all employees on appropriate cleaning and disinfection practices, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
  • Screen all employees for COVID-19 symptoms before coming into the business, and send home any employee who displays symptoms.
  • Employees with new or worsening COVID-19 symptoms cannot return to work until specific standards are met. These standards vary depending on whether the employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, is displaying possible symptoms, or whether they’re in close contact with someone else who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Employees must wash or sanitize their hands upon entering the business.
  • Employees must maintain social distancing, or at least six feet of separation from other individuals. If this distancing is not feasible, other measures like face covering, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness and sanitation should be rigorously practiced.
  • If an employer provides a meal for employees, employers are recommended to have meals individually packaged for each employee.
  • Employers should consider having all employees wear cloth face coverings over their nose and mouth, or non-medical grade face masks if available.
  • Regularly and frequently clean and disinfect surfaces that are regularly touched, like doorknobs, tables, chairs and restrooms.
  • Dissinfect any items that come into contact with customers.
  • Make hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water, or similar disinfectant readily available to both employees and customers.
  • Place visible signage around the business to remind everyone of best hygiene practices.

Protocol for customers

  • Customers should self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before going into retailers, restaurants, movie theaters, museums or libraries.
  • Customers should not enter the facility if they display any symptoms, including cough or shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, are running a fever, or have had close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Customers should maintain social distancing of at least six feet of separation between themselves and individuals outside of their own household. If this distance isn’t possible, other measures should be in place such as face covering, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, and sanitation.
  • Customers should wash or sanitize their hands upon entering the facility; after any interaction with employees, customers or retail items; and after the payment process.
  • Customers should consider wearing cloth face coverings over their nose and mouth when entering the facility, or when within six feet of others outside of their own household. If available, consider wearing non-medical-grade face masks.
  • When at a restaurant, no tables of more than six people.

Information by industry

Additional details specific to retailers, restaurants, movie theaters, museums and libraries, single-person offices and customers for these locations are all available in Gov. Abbott’s Report to Open TexasPDF File.