Mall food courts, water parks & driver education programs will be able to open under Phase 2 of Texas reopening


AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation allowing several services and activities to open under Phase 2 of the state’s plan to reopen after mass closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the proclamation, the following can reopen with limited occupancy and/or regulations:

  • Water parks (beginning May 29) — occupancy must be limited to 25% and areas with video arcades must remain closed
  • Recreational sports programs for adults (May 31) — Games and competitions cannot begin until June 15
  • Driver education programs — operations can resume immediately
  • Food court dining areas within shopping malls — operations can resume immediately, but malls are encouraged to designate one or more individuals to ensure health and safety practices like customers maintaining six-feet of distance, cleaning and disinfecting of tables, etc.

In a press conference on April 27, Abbott announced Phase 1 of the reopening, which would begin on May 1 — allowing retail stores, restaurants and movie theaters to reopen.

On May 18, the Governor announced that the state had officially entered Phase 2, which allowed several businesses to reopen immediately, including child care facilities and massage parlors.

The announcement also allowed bars, bowling alleys and aquariums to reopen at 25%, beginning on May 22.

Water parks preparing to open

Rock’N River Water Park in Round Rock has already announced it will reopen on May 30 with limited capacity.

Typhoon Texas in Pflugerville is opening Friday. Within just hours of the governor’s announcement Tuesday, several time slots for the water park sold out.

“You can’t walk up to the water park this summer,” explained Ty Weitzel, the park’s General Manager. “You have to go online, reserve your date, your time, and the number in your party, and then we’ll be glad to take care of you at Typhoon Texas.”

The “new normal” will also include markers on the ground that tell you where to stand, so you’re six feet from others.

Weitzel said you’ll notice safety precautions being implemented when you buy food as well. “At the windows, you won’t have to wait close to the window to pick up your food. We’ll actually have speakers calling your name out,” he told KXAN.

Other steps they’re taking to minimize the risk precautions include closing the restrooms every hour for disinfecting and cleaning the seating areas.

“You will see our staff cleaning the park, sanitizing areas, sanitizing the lounge chairs. All of our furniture has been distanced six feet apart,” Weitzel said.

In New Braunfels, Schlitterbahn is planning to re-open next month.

They sent KXAN a statement:

We are pleased that Governor Abbott’s reopening plans now include waterparks. The safety of our guests and associates has always been, and will always be, our top priority.  Schlitterbahn is preparing to reopen our properties mid-June with enhanced safety measures and operational changes throughout both of our parks. We miss you and cannot wait to welcome you back to the Hottest, Coolest Time in Texas.

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