Governor Greg Abbott has made an announcement allowing for the reopening of multiple businesses in Texas, including movie theaters. The coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions will be lifted on Friday, May 1.
Abbott received permission from the White House after confirming with Deborah Birx, who is leading the coronavirus response. Following Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina and several other states, which also allowed their theaters to reopen, Texas is the latest and largest state to lift the mandatory shutdown.
This decision is optional, however, and many may decline to open for safety precautions or financial reasons. “This is permission to open, not a requirement,” Abbott said.
Those who do decide to reopen are restricted to operating at a maximum of 25% capacity, which could prompt businesses to remain closed. Furthermore, without a major blockbuster for the next two months, many theaters are unlikely to open the doors. The first major film to hit theaters will be Tenet, which is slated to open on July 17. Mulan is set to follow on July 24.
Unlike Georgia, barbershops, hair salons, bars and gyms will remain closed. However, the state government hopes they will be able to reopen in mid-May.
Movie theaters, restaurants and museums are allowed to reopen in Texas starting on Friday, though that doesn't necessarily mean they will.