AUSTIN, Texas — Gov.Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas allows retail shops and malls to reopen their doors Friday with new rules and regulations.
As part of Gov. Abbott's plan to slowly get the economy moving again, Texas businesses can operate at 25% capacity. They are required to clean regularly and screen their employees for COVID-19 symptoms. They’re also encouraged to make hand sanitizer readily available and use contactless payment.
As for customers, they’re asked to self-screen for symptoms and wash their hands before they enter and leave the building.
Both employees and customers are asked to stay six feet away from others and consider wearing a face-covering or mask.
Other measures that are encouraged listed in the "Governor's Strike Force to Open Texas Report - Texans Helping Texans" include dedicating a certain period of time each day for only at-risk customers or to deliver purchased goods to vehicles to reduce the need for at-risk customers to enter the store.
Retailers are also asked to monitor customers and what they touch so they can clean it after the customer leaves the store, if possible.
Despite the safety measures, some shops, like Bloomers and Frocks in South Austin, are choosing to stay closed.
“Everything I have is one of a kind,” said Rebekka Adams, owner of Bloomers and Frocks. “It’s an old piece of history. It can take so much cleaning. I don’t know how to sanitize cleaning between customers trying it on. I don’t want to take a risk for myself or for my customers.”
Bloomers and Frocks sells vintage clothing and the owner said for now they’ll continue to do that online.
Adams said she's had to lay off all of her employees due to the closures, so she is eager to reopen soon, just not right now.
“I’m waiting on health officials to really say we’re on the otherside of the curve and making sure it’s really safe for everyone,” said Adams. “I’m not a medical expert, but I just can do what I can do with my little shop.”
One store that has decided to open up their doors to customers on May 1 is Atown, a boutique in Central Austin.
“We’re following all of the governor’s protocol – we’re cleaning the store nonstop," said sales trainer Brenda Whisenhunt. “We’re wearing our masks, we’re going to be practicing social distancing and making sure that we’re respecting life so that we can keep our freedom.”
When you enter Atown, you'll notice hand sanitizer right by the front entryway, as well as signs that encourage anyone inside to stay at least six feet from one another.
When it comes to checking out, customers will also be separated by six feet with tape on the floor. The cashier would stand away from the counter until the item is placed on the counter. Then, the customer steps back while the cashier rings up the item.
Hearth & Soul, a lifestyle boutique in Austin, will also reopen to customers inside while following the laid-out guidelines.
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