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. In Houston, officials said they’d received hundreds of complaints about businesses being overcrowded and vowed to crack down on establishments not adhering to Abbott’s guidelines.
On Friday and Saturday, photographers Jordan Vonderhaar and Sergio Flores carefully ventured out in Austin, masked and mindful of social distance, to get a sense of how the reopenings went. Here are some of their photos.