DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Today’s the day. Nonessential businesses in Texas are being allowed to reopen their doors starting Friday, but there are restrictions and guidelines in place that you will need to know about before making that long-awaited shopping trip.
Nonessential businesses have been closed to customers inside those establishments for weeks now due to orders that forced their shutdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.READ MORE: Damage, Flooding Seen Throughout North Texas During Sunday Storms
However, Gov. Greg Abbott allowed the statewide stay-at-home order to expire Thursday and signed an executive order to let these types of businesses reopen but with caveats. Businesses are also not being forced to reopen.
Businesses like retail stores, malls, restaurants and movie theaters will be able to reopen but at a 25% capacity and with social distancing guidelines still in place. This is being known as phase one of the reopening Texas plan by state officials.
Malls like NorthPark Center in Dallas and Simon Property Group establishments like Grapevine Mills and North East Mall in Hurst will be open Friday.
NorthPark Center will require customers and employees to wear face coverings, while these coverings will be encouraged at malls like Grapevine Mills and North East Mall.
The Galleria Dallas will not reopen until Monday and will require face coverings.
Customers at malls should not be surprised if certain retail stores are still closed as they are not being forced to reopen.
At Grapevine Mills, hand sanitizer stations could be seen throughout the mall as well as signs that directed customers where to enter and exit the building.READ MORE: 18-Year-Old Arrested In Connection To Murder Of Child Found In Dallas Street
Although this is the first weekend that these businesses could reopen, they’ve been allowed to offer “retail to go” options since April 24. Curbside pickup areas were set up at places like malls as one of the first steps of restarting the Texas economy.
Restaurants have only been able to stay open for takeout and delivery during the pandemic, but now they will be able to have customers in their dine-in areas at the limited capacity.
However, restaurants will also have to maintain social distancing guidelines. These businesses are doing this with practices such as spacing out tables at least six feet apart and having paper table covers that will be replaced with each new customer.
Although movie theaters are allowed to reopen, Texas-based companies like Cinemark, Alamo Drafthouse and Studio Movie Grill have said they will not be open this weekend. Dates for their reopening have not been announced, although Cinemark said it is planning to reopen in the middle of the summer.
Other types of businesses like barber shops, hairdressers, gyms and bars will not be allowed to reopen during this first phase. Abbott said earlier this week he believes they could reopen during the second phase, which could start as early as May 18. Phase two could also allow for capacities to increase to 50%.
There are no changes to businesses that have remained open during the pandemic.
Residents are still encouraged to wear face coverings and follow social distancing guidelines as cases of COVID-19 continue to increase.MORE NEWS: Storms In North Texas Spark Tornado Warnings Sunday Afternoon