Texas bars, bowling alleys and other businesses were able to reopen Friday — the start of Memorial Day weekend — as long as they limited the number of customers to 25% of their allowed occupancy. And restaurants were able to start operating at 50% capacity.
The reopenings are part of Gov. Greg Abbott's efforts to revive the state's battered economy, which appears headed for a recession. Even though businesses are allowed to reopen, experts caution that the economic recovery from a statewide shutdown will be slow due to continued fears of the coronavirus, among other factors.
Still, many Texans took advantage of being allowed to again frequent businesses they hadn't visited for several weeks as establishments closed to stop the spread of the virus. Photographers Jordan Vonderhaar and Sergio Flores carefully ventured out, masked and mindful of social distance, to get a sense of how that looked on Friday and Saturday. Here are some of their photos.
First: Patrons inside the Blind Pig Pub on West 6th Street in downtown Austin. Last: Customers sit at the bar in B.D. Riley's Irish Pub in Austin on Friday.
Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune
First: People wait to cross the street in downtown Austin on May 23, 2020. Last: A pair of scooter riders ride through an intersection in downtown Austin on May 23, 2020.
Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune