Apr 27, 2020 - Health

Texas governor to allow stay-at-home order to expire on April 30

Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Image

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced on Monday that he will allow the state's stay-at-home order to lapse on April 30, at which point Texas will begin "phase one" of its reopening plan.

The state of play: Abbott said at a press conference that all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls will be permitted to reopen on May 1 as long as occupancy is limited to 25%. Abbott emphasized the "importance of vulnerable populations remaining at home, if at all possible."

  • Phase two, which Texas will move to as early as May 18 if phase one is successful, will later expand occupancy to 50%, with further increases allowed in the future.
  • Barbershops, salons, gyms and bars will remain closed for now, but they could open as part of phase two in mid-May.
  • Abbott's executive order will supersede all local ordinances limiting business operations.

What he's saying:

"Something important to remember: This order allows these businesses to reopen. It does not require them to do so. If a business owner feels unsafe opening at this time ... there's no requirement to do so."
— Greg Abbott

The big picture: Abbott is the latest in a series of governors moving to reopen their economies around May 1, following guidance from President Trump that requires states to report at least 14 days of declining hospitalizations before lifting coronavirus restrictions.

  • While Texas is operating independently, other governors have created Western, Midwestern and Northeastern coalitions in order to take a regional approach to reopening.
  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has faced backlash from Trump and public health officials for moving to open barbershops, bowling alleys, tattoo parlors and salons as early as this week.

Go deeper

Trump's week of viral quicksand

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Stories about President Trump's photo op at St. John's church after peaceful protesters were forcefully cleared from the area averaged the most online attention of any issue about the president this week.

Why it matters: Trump's force-over-compassion approach to the demonstrators protesting the murder of George Floyd had Republican allies backpedaling to keep a distance — and led to a wave of condemnations that got plenty of online traction on their own.

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.