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Water Parks, Adult Sports Programs, Mall Food Courts Can Reopen This Month

Barton Creek Mall in Austin reopened May 1 after being forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Greg Abbott said mall food courts can reopen today.
Barton Creek Mall in Austin reopened May 1 after being forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Greg Abbott said mall food courts can reopen today.

Water parks, recreational sports programs for adults, driver education programs and food-court dining areas in malls can reopen this month with certain occupancy restrictions and health protocols, Gov. Greg Abbott  announced Tuesday.

Water parks can open at 25% occupancy starting Friday.  Interactive components of water parks, like video arcades or child play areas, must remain closed.

Recreational sports programs for adults can resume Sunday, but games or competitions can’t start until June 15. Driving schools can reopen at 25% capacity immediately.

Food-court dining areas can also reopen immediately. Malls are encouraged to assign one or more workers to be responsible for ensuring health protocols are being followed, like limiting tables to six people, keeping 6 feet of distance between people at different tables and cleaning tables between use.

Health protocols for the reopening services can be found  here.

Last week, the governor allowed child care centers to reopen. Bars were also allowed to reopen at 25% capacity, and restaurants were allowed to expand capacity to 50%.  Malls, restaurants, movie theaters, salons and gyms have also been allowed to reopen with restrictions this month. 

Abbott’s announcement comes the day after Travis County saw its largest, single-day increase in positive COVID-19 cases. Dr. Mark Escott, interim health authority for Austin Public Health, said during a briefing Tuesday morning that he expects hospitalizations to rise in tandem.

Got a tip? Email Marisa Charpentier at mcharpentier@kut.org. Follow her on Twitter @marisacharp.

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