The businesses will be required to follow certain rules, however, as the state continues to grapple with the novel coronavirus. For example, hair stylists will only be able to work with one customer at a time, while gyms can only reopen at 25% capacity, and their showers and locker rooms should remain closed for now.
Abbott announced the upcoming reopenings during a news conference Tuesday at the Texas Capitol in Austin, four days after he let stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls reopen at 25% capacity. He had initially eyed May 18 as the next date to announce further reopenings, but in recent days he has faced growing pressure from some in his own party to move quicker.
Even as Abbott rolled out the additional reopenings, he braced Texans for "flare-ups in certain regions" and said the state has assembled "surge response teams" to dispatch to such problem areas.
After discussing barbershops and gyms, Abbott said state officials also want to reopen another type of business — bars — but are still figuring out how to do so safely. He said he wants feedback from bar owners, given that "not all bars are the same," particularly when it comes to size.
The Friday reopenings, Abbott said, apply to "cosmetology salons, barbershops, hair salons, nail salons and tanning salons." In addition to limiting stylists to one customer at a time, Abbott recommended salons use an appointment system only, and if they accept walk-ins, those customers should only wait inside if they can practice social distancing. Stylist stations should also be 6 feet apart, and Abbott said he "strongly" recommends stylists and customers wear masks.
When it comes to gyms, in addition to limiting capacity and keeping locker rooms closed, Abbott said all equipment must be disinfected after each use. Customers should wear gloves that cover their entire hand, including the fingers. Customers should maintain social distancing. And if customers bring their own equipment into the gym, such as a yoga mat, it must be disinfected before and after each use.
Earlier Tuesday, two Republican state representatives defied Abbott's wishes by getting haircuts at a Houston-area salon.
Tuesday's press conference came as the number of coronavirus cases in Texas increased to at least 33,369, including 906 deaths, according to the latest numbers from the Texas Department of State Health Services. The virus is present in 216 out of the state's 254 counties.
The total of tests conducted in Texas stands at 427,210, the DSHS figures show.
This developing story will be updated soon.