Houston, Sep 18 (IANS) Texas Governor Greg Abbott has announced that Covid-19 restrictions will be further eased in most areas of the state from September 21 following a drop in the number of positive coronavirus cases.

In a statement on Thursday, Abbott said that businesses in areas where coronavirus patients make up less than 15 per cent of all hospitalizations can open at 75 per cent of capacity, reports Xinhua news agency.

Those businesses include retail stores, restaurants and office buildings.

Hospitals in those areas will also be allowed to have normal elective procedures.

Nursing homes and assisted living centres can reopen for visitations under certain standards starting from September 24, he added.

However, Abbott said bars will not reopen, saying they were “nationally recognized as Covid-19 spreading locations.”

After the announcement, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the procedure might be “a little more aggressive”.

“The state has taken a little more aggressive approach rather than cautious approach in announcing the next round of reopening,” he tweeted.

According to official figures, the state reported 3,518 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and 112 new coronavirus related deaths.

The new cases increased the overall infections to more than 710,000, while the death toll stood at 14,886.

–IANS

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