Governor Abbott Announces Preliminary Steps to Re-Open Texas

Bradley PepperAdvocacy, Covid-19

Today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the initial steps and framework to begin the process of reopening the state and our economy.

First, the governor has established the Strike Force to Open Texas, which will advise and make recommendations on safely and strategically reopening Texas. The Strike Force will be led by a medical team of nationally respected doctors who will work alongside a Special Advisory Council of private and public leaders. The council consists of 39 business leaders, including Perry Homes CEO and owner Kathy Britton, representing the state’s regions and industries.

Second, the governor issued an executive order relating to the safe, strategic reopening of select services and activities in Texas. The first step to reopening the economy and getting people back to work will be to authorize a temporary “Retail-To-Go” model that will allow retail outlets in Texas to reopen beginning Friday, April 24. To be permitted to operate under this order, retail establishments will only be allowed to deliver items to customer’s cars, through the mail, or to their doorsteps in an effort to minimize contact.


Under this Executive Order all schools, K-12, colleges, and universities, will remain closed for the 2019-2020 school year. State parks will also reopen on Monday, April 20, but visitors will be required to wear face coverings, maintain a six-foot distance from individuals outside of their party, and prohibit the gathering of groups larger than five.

When asked about a general timeline for all businesses to re-open. Governor Abbott said that he will be guided by medical experts and data. “If the data continues to show a flat-lining and then a decline” in positive tests, “that is a signal that we can begin the process of opening up some businesses that adhere to the strictest strategies that will reduce the spread of the coronavirus.”

The current stay-at-home order is effective through April 30 and the actions today are additional exceptions to that stay-at-home policy. The governor also noted that there will be another announcement on April 27 about additional steps to re-open Texas.

For more information, visit the Open Texas website.

About the Author

Bradley Pepper

Government Affairs Director Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA)