Texas re-opens a bit

The governor announced a re-opening plan to begin this Friday, under which most businesses, including restaurants, may re-open at 25% of capacity.  There is an exception for hair salons and gyms, which remain closed.  Businesses in counties with fewer than 5 confirmed cases, which is almost half of Texas counties and includes my own, can operate at 50% capacity.

Counties have some leeway, but our County Judge and the two local mayors are going along.  Although my neighbors are disappointed that we apparently are not opening the public beaches and boat ramps, the aim of the order is not to give people more leisure options.  It's to restore jobs.

If case counts are not disappointing, all counties will shift to the 50% rule in a couple of weeks.

This is strictly a permissive order.  Businesses that don't feel ready to open aren't required to do so.  After the 2017 hurricane, most of the restaurants with good business-interruption insurance opted to stay closed as long as possible, knowing that it would be hard to turn a profit before most residents and tourists returned.  As I understand it, though, nearly all business insurance contains a pandemic exception, so owners will have to make difficult decisions about whether they can afford to stay closed, or for that matter can afford to re-open with reduced traffic.  Some will be able to thread the needle by operating with reduced staff, which will help with overhead.

1 comment:

Grim said...

Best of luck.