Wearing masks, hikers hit trails as Texas starts reopening

Following social distancing rules and wearing face coverings, visitors hike through Enchanted Rock State Park, Monday, April 20, 2020, in Fredericksburg, Texas. Texas state parks are reopened to the public Monday after they had been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but visitors must follow social distancing rules and wear a facial covering or mask. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Following social distancing rules and wearing face coverings, visitors hike through Enchanted Rock State Park, Monday, April 20, 2020, in Fredericksburg, Texas. Texas state parks are reopened to the public Monday after they had been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but visitors must follow social distancing rules and wear a facial covering or mask. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

AUSTIN, Texas – State parks reopened Monday in Texas as the state began what Republican Gov. Greg Abbott says will be a gradual unraveling of restrictions that were put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus. In Dallas, grocery store employees and retail clerks are now among those who can be tested for COVID-19 even if they don't have symptoms.

The latest from Texas:

___

VISITORS LINE UP AT PARKS

Eager hikers and fishermen lined up early as Texas parks reopened for the first time since temporarily closing April 7 as part of statewide social distancing restrictions.

At Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in the Hill Country, about 120 people made reservations Monday to enter one of Texas' most popular park destinations, park ranger Tina Johnson said. Visitors had to remain in their car while grabbing trail maps and signs reminded them to wear masks and keep six feet apart from other hikers.

In Houston, dozens of families flocked early to Sheldon Lake State Park, where most though not all visitors wore masks as required.

Not all Texas state parks are reopening yet. In El Paso, Mayor Dee Margo has said two popular sites — Franklin Mountains and Hueco Tanks state parks — will remain closed due to local COVID-19 trends.