EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso City and County officials have amended the Local Emergency Directive to align with Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s May 22 and 26 Proclamations allowing additional businesses to reopen while abiding by specific guidelines, officials said on Thursday.
“Balancing public and economic health is critical during this unprecedented time, so everyone needs to continue doing their part by following health guidelines,” said Mayor Dee Margo. “I will continue working with the Governor to ensure El Paso has the necessary resources as he continues the reopening of our State.”
The Directive will be amended to:
- Allow for food-court dining areas within shopping malls to ope, keeping social distancing guidelines and ensuring all areas are cleaned and disinfected properly; and
- Allow driver education programs to operate at up to 25-percent of their total listed occupancy. Driving schools must ensure at least 6 feet of social distancing between students and instructors except when receiving in-car instructions or participating in a DPS road test.
The Directive will also amend the following starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 29, 2020, to allow:
- Outdoor motorsports events to open at up to 25-percent of the normal operating limits as determined by the venue owner and that operate under guidelines that facilitate appropriate social distancing.
- Water parks to open at up to 25-percent of the normal operating limits as determined by the venue owner. Indoor water parks may operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the water park. All components that have video arcades must remain closed. City water parks will remain closed until further notice.
The Directive will also amend the following starting at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, May 31, 2020, to allow:
- Recreational sports programs for adults to begin hosting practices. However, all games and competitions will not be allowed to begin until June 15. City facilities, including Parks and Recreation facilities and areas, will remain closed until further notice.
“As the Governor continues to expand the reopening of Texas, we must be very thoughtful in our approach, because we want to address not only the physical and mental health of our community but the economic health as well,” said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, City/County Local Health Authority. “We understand the desire to return back to normal, but we must acknowledge that there is a new reality for the world, so we must be cautious in our approach to make sure we are caring for ourselves and for our most vulnerable. This is why we have increased our testing efforts and continue to urge you to practice social distancing, wear face coverings, and wash your hands with soap and water. We can reopen our community in a smart and safe way, but we need each person to take responsibility and care for each other.”
Bars in El Paso will also be allowed to reopen at midnight Friday, but only at 25-percent capacity.
Some local bars have already announced on their social media accounts that they will begin to reopen starting on Friday.