By Gaige Davila
Port Isabel and South Padre Island released their own reopening guidelines today preparing for Texas’ state-issued “reopening” on May 1. Port Isabel Mayor Juan Jose JJ Zamora has rescinded all previous ordinances since March 13, effective immediately.
South Padre Island, in kind with Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order to allow businesses’ reopening on May 1, are allowing retail stores, malls, restaurants, movie theaters and museums to reopen at 25 percent capacity.
Restaurants are encouraged to section off unused tables and chairs and, if applicable, seat patrons at every other booth and to keep tables at least six feet away from each other. If a restaurant has a bar, customers cannot sit there: table seating only.
Museums cannot utilize any hands-on exhibits, and movie theaters must have patrons six feet away from one another.
Port Isabel restaurant’s offering to-go service can provide curb service only, meaning customers cannot exit their vehicles when picking up food. For restaurants who choose to open their dining rooms on May 1, anyone working in the restaurant must wear a face covering. Only single-use cups, wrapped straws and utensils and individual condiment packets are allowed to be used. No self-serve drink fountains are allowed. Live music is allowed, but dancing is forbidden.
Taxis can renter service at 12:01 a.m. on May 1, but with several guidelines: only one person per row of seating; a vinyl, glass or Plexiglas screen must be installed between the driver and the rest of the car, from the ceiling down to chest-high length; windows must be opened three inches for ventilation; air conditioning cannot be used in re-circulation mode; hand sanitizer must be available to passengers; all passengers must be recorded by the driver, including where they were picked up, taken, their phone numbers and name; passengers seats must be cleaned every two hours and recorded; and drivers and passengers must wear face masks.
Port Isabel’s parks remain closed, except the Pompano Boat Ramp in the Fingers, which can be used for boat launching and parking vehicles. Port Isabel’s lone fishing pier, Pirate’s Fishing Pier, can allow groups of 5 or less onto the pier. Visitors are encouraged to wear face masks.
Violations of any of these guidelines carries a $500 fine.
Port Isabel is encouraging citizens to follow the same guidelines from Cameron County’s shelter-in-place order.
To read Port Isabel’s proclamation in full, click here.