May 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Texas governor to allow salons and barbershops to reopen this week


Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced at a press briefing on Tuesday that hair salons, barbershops, tanning salons and gyms will be allowed to reopen within the next two weeks.

Why it matters: The announcement comes less than a week after Texas launched its phase one reopening plan, prompting backlash from some Democrats who believe the state is moving too fast to determine whether the reopenings have caused a surge in infections.

  • Dallas County reported its highest daily increase in new coronavirus cases for the third straight day on Tuesday, though it's worth noting that the state has significantly ramped up its testing capacity.

The state of play: Abbott allowed movie theaters, restaurants and malls to begin operating at 25% capacity on April 30. Close-contact facilities like salons were largely excluded from the phase one plan.

  • Hair salons, barbershops and tanning salons will now be allowed to reopen on Friday with recommended limitations, including 6 feet between clients and masks for employees and customers.
  • Gyms will be permitted to open on May 18, with requirements including 25% occupancy limits, locker room closures, 6-feet of distancing, gloves worn by patrons and consistent disinfection of surfaces.

By the numbers: Texas has reported over 33,000 cases of the coronavirus and more than 900 deaths, per Johns Hopkins.

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