Gov. Greg Abbott will allow hair salons in Texas to reopen Friday — and gyms will be allowed to open May 18.
The businesses will be required to follow certain rules, however, as the state continues to grapple with the coronavirus. Hair stylists will be able to only work with one customer at a time. People waiting in barber shops will have to maintain 6-foot separation or wait outside.
Meanwhile, gyms will be required to operate at a maximum of 25% of capacity. Showers and locker rooms will be closed, and equipment must be disinfected after each use.
Abbott made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday. It came less than a week after he began what he has described as the first phase of business reopenings in the state — allowing restaurants, retail stores, libraries and museums to open if they limited crowds to 25% of capacity. Since he announced those the initial business reopenings last week, Abbott has faced increasing pressure from some in his own party to also give the green light to barbershops on gyms. Earlier Tuesday, two Republican state representatives defied Abbott's wishes by getting haircuts at a Houston-area salon.
Tuesday's press conference came as the number of coronavirus cases in Texas increased to at least 33,369, including 906 deaths, according to the latest numbers from the Texas Department of State Health Services. The virus is present in 216 out of the state's 254 counties.
The total of tests conducted in Texas stands at 427,210, the DSHS figures show.