HOUSTON – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that he will allow his statewide “stay home” order to expire on April 30, and Phase 1 of reopening the Texas economy will begin on May 1.
All Texas restaurants will be able to reopen Friday under Abbott’s order, provided they maintain social distancing and hygiene guidelines and only function at 25% occupancy. If there are no new flare-ups of coronavirus cases during Phase 1, Abbott said the guidelines will be loosened during Phase 2 in mid-May.
If you plan on heading to your favorite restaurant during Phase 1 beginning Friday, you will need to adhere to certain minimum health guidelines.
Health protocols for restaurant customers
- Maintain at least 6 feet of separation from other people who are not in your party. If social distancing is not possible, you should try other measures like wearing a face covering while not seated at the table, maintain hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness and sanitation
- Self-screen before you go the restaurant. If you have any of these symptoms, don’t go to the restaurant: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100 degrees.
- If you’ve had close contact with a person who has been confirmed to have coronavirus, don’t go to a restaurant.
- Wash or disinfect hands when you enter the restaurant, when you interact with employees or other customers or with items in the restaurant
- Don’t sit in parties of more than six people at a table
- Wash or sanitize your hands after the payment process
- Consider wearing a cloth mask or face covering when not at a table or when within six feet of another person who is not a member of your household.
Read the full protocols for restaurant customers below:
Health protocols for restaurants
There are also several protocols in place for restaurant owners and staff. Some of those are as follows:
- Parties maintain at least 6 feet distance apart from other parties at all times, including while waiting to be seated at the restaurant
- Make a hand sanitizing station available upon entry to the restaurant
- No tables of more than six people
- Do not leave condiments, silverware, flatware, glassware, or other traditional table top items on an unoccupied table
- Provide condiments only upon request and in single-use portions
- Use disposable menus with a new one for each patron
- If a buffet is offered, restaurant employees must serve the food to customers
- Contactless payment is encouraged. Where not available, contact should be minimized
Read the full protocol for restaurants below: