It’s time for the week that was in Texas politics with Matthew Watkins, managing editor of news and politics for The Texas Tribune.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is continuing to relax restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. There were restrictions imposed on those traveling by plane from certain COVID-19 hot spot areas like New York City and New Orleans.
“Abbott has now lifted those restrictions so the planes can fly freely. It’s one more step in a continued reopening that Abbott has been pushing over the last weeks and month,” Watkins said.
Also, Abbott has asked many state agencies to cut back on spending, including public universities. The goal is to make cuts to the current budget so the next budget determined by the Legislature in 2021 won’t take the brunt of the economic impact from the pandemic.
On Friday, several categories of entertainment businesses were allowed to reopen, including bars, bowling alleys, bingo halls, skating rinks, rodeos, zoos and aquariums. And restaurants can increase dine-in capacity to 50%. It’s unclear how comfortable the public is going to these establishments. Watkins said some businesses like hair salons that were allowed to reopen earlier have seen a spike in customers. But he said that might not apply to all businesses.
“It depends; in some areas there’s pent up demand in things that people find very necessary,” he said. “Other things that are more leisurely … even if you’re allowed to open at 50% capacity for instance, that doesn’t mean 50% of your regular business is ready to return yet.”
Web story by Caroline Covington.
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