Texas eases virus lockdown despite highest one-day death toll

Houston (AFP) – Texas began relaxing coronavirus lockdown measures on Friday despite reporting a single-day high in deaths, the largest and latest US state to ease restrictions without a clear drop in the number of confirmed virus cases.

Stores, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, museums and libraries were allowed to reopen in the Lone Star State but with limited occupancy — just 25 percent of their capacity.

Public swimming pools, bars, gyms, beauty salons, massage parlors, bowling alleys, video game arcades and tattoo shops remain closed.

And Texas Governor Greg Abbott sounded a note of caution, tweeting that “Texans should continue to practice social distancing” and follow health guidelines.

“Face coverings are not mandatory, but encouraged to protect the lives of individuals at high-risk,” Abbott said.

The Mexican restaurant Picos, in the heart of Houston, reopened to customers Friday morning.

Marketing manager Monica Richards described the restaurant’s new normal: “We went ahead and put up plexiglas barriers around the bar, we have some at the hostess stand, all of our employees are going to be wearing masks, and gloves,” she said.

Customer Jack Sweed, sitting at a table with a disposable tablecloth, cutlery and menu, said he was “happy” to support local business.

“I feel like the safety measures that have been put in place have been effective… it’s time for us to open up our economy and get back to normal life,” the oil and gas worker said.

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Source: Yahoo