Phase 1 for reopening begins

Retail stores, restaurants allowed to reopen at 25% capacity


Editor’s note: On Monday, Gov. Abbott announced he will let the state’s stay-at-home order expire Thursday as scheduled and allow businesses to begin reopening in phases the next day. Gonzales Mayor Connie Kacir sent a press release to the Inquirer outlining the plan and its effects on the city of Gonzales.

The City of Gonzales agrees with and supports Governor Greg Abbott’s order effective Friday, May 1, to reopen business in phases. Starting tomorrow, Gonzales implements the first phase of the governor’s plan to expand business and commerce opportunities as defined below:

  • Allows retail stores, the Lynn Theatre and restaurants (dine-in restaurants that have less than 51% of gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages and are not required to post the 51% sign required by Texas law as determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission) to reopen at 25% capacity.
  • Governor Abbott authorized any business who may not be ready to reopen on Friday the individual authority to remain closed until they deem it appropriate and safe to reopen.
  • Outdoor sports allowed in Phase 1 approves sports up to four participants. Specifically, citing sports such as golf and tennis providing, they keep social distancing guidelines of at least 6 feet apart.
  • All licensed healthcare professionals can return to work with few restrictions. Churches and places of worship can expand their capacity with continued distancing measures advised.
  • Social gathering numbers were not increased in Phase 1.
  • Summer camps are not allowed at this time and a plan is being reviewed to consider how to safely open camps in the future.

In light of the increasing numbers in COVID-19 cases and community spread experienced in the City of Gonzales, the city is electing to wait until May 18 to reassess the opening of municipal facilities. City Hall, Robert Lee Brothers Jr. Memorial Library and the Memorial Museum will remain closed to the public until further notice. This decision is made in the best interest of public health and safety for our citizens and our employees. Parks are open with the exception of playscapes, playgrounds and splashpad.

To date, the Gonzales Police Department reports no citations have been issued regarding the current orders in place addressing COVID-19. Our police officers have worked with the citizens to provide numerous courtesy warnings for violations.

Governor Abbott emphasized in his latest press conference the opening of Texas came with strict guidelines. He added, violators would be subject to lose their license and or be fined if his orders were not upheld.

The City of Gonzales strongly recommends that everyone please continue to wear a mask as directed by Governor Abbott.

  • The governor requests we follow medical recommendations of Texas Department of State Health Services and Centers for Disease Control, CDC, and wear cloth face coverings in public especially in areas of community-based transmission.
  • This guideline is given to save lives and reduce the spread of the disease. By wearing a facemask covering your nose and mouth, you are doing your part in protecting and saving lives. This is a very small request made to protect yourself and others. Business owners have the authority to require a facemask if they elect to do so.

The governor will address Phase II of “Open Texas” at a later date and be considered as soon as the scientific data reflects there’s no secondary spike of COVID-19 cases. May 18 is targeted for reevaluation of data, driving decisions made by our state and national medical professionals for opening additional businesses and possibly increasing the numbers allowed for gatherings.

As mayor, I encourage everyone to unite in doing their part to reduce the cases of the virus. Our number one goal is to protect the health and safety of our citizens and second, we need to reopen safely — enjoying the thriving economy Gonzales boasted prior to COVID-19.

Working together, Gonzales takes the win. Let’s follow the rules and abide by the guidelines to win this battle. Our President, Governor, Gonzales City Council and City Medical Director all agree that by submitting to the guidelines and best practices of the CDC of wearing a face mask, washing hands often, using sanitizer, avoiding touching your face and disinfecting surfaces, we can slow the spread of COVID-19.

Let’s work together to reduce the number of cases. By doing so, we protect the lives of others and the governor will give us more freedom and more opportunities. Gonzales, we’ve got this! The sooner we all comply the sooner we can overcome the limitations we have today.

For more information regarding Governor Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas and to view the Open Texas report, visit