Governor Greg Abbott joins KBTX to discuss plan to reopen Texas

Published: Apr. 28, 2020 at 8:25 PM CDT
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Starting this Friday, you'll be able to do things like eat inside your favorite restaurants, go see a movie, and shop inside malls. It's part of Governor Greg Abbott's effort to slowly and safely reopen the state.

Governor Abbott joined Karla Castillo and Rusty Surette live on News 3 at Six Tuesday to talk more about his plans.

Monday, Abbott announced he would allow his shelter-in-place order to expire on April 30. Phase 1 of his plan to reopen businesses begins Friday, May 1.

That's when retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, museums, and libraries can reopen. However, they cannot exceed 25% capacity. The governor says capacity could be increased to 50% on May 18 if things go well in the first two weeks of the plan.

During the interview with KBTX, Abbott acknowledged Texans may have questions about the plan, particularly about businesses that haven't been specifically mentioned.

"There will be some questions that will arise," said Abbott. "What people should do is, if there is a type of business that is subject to a regulatory agency, like an easy example would be a bar selling alcohol. They are subject to the TABC regulatory agency. I don't know what would happen to a dance studio, whatever the case may be about that, but if you are subject to a regulatory agency, talk to your regulator and find out what the standard is, because those regulators will be providing guidance. If that is not an option for a particular type of business, just contact the governor's office and let us try to work with you on trying to provide the clarity that you want."

The governor says they continue working on plans for schools, camps, and daycares. He previously mentioned May 18 as the next time he'd provide an update on when barbershops, hair salons, and gyms could open, but said more details could come sooner.

"There is a possibility that some announcements could come before May the 18th," said Abbott.

Abbott also said he understood the concerns of Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough, who called the executive order too vague Tuesday and threatened not to enforce it. Abbott said his office would offer clarification on Tuesday night or early Wednesday to address the Keough's concerns.

You can watch the full interview with Governor Abbott in the video player above.