Bingo, bowling and more make a return in Texas today

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As Texas enters its second phase of reopening, more businesses across the Houston area are preparing to open their doors once again.

All Texas restaurants will now be able to ramp up capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent. However, Gov. Greg Abbott said capacity guidelines do not apply to outdoor areas.

Bars can reopen at 25 percent capacity. The state's guidelines state any parts of the establishment or facility that have "interactive functions or exhibits, including child play areas, interactive
games, and video arcades" must remain closed. Interactive amusement venues such as video arcades, amusement parks, and water parks, are also to remain closed.

SEE ALSO: Restaurant and bar owners eager to open after long closures

Bowling alleys, bingo halls, skating rinks, drive-ins, zoos and aquariums can also open at a 25 percent capacity.

ABC13 visited Del Mar Lanes in Houston, where they're adjusting the bowling experience to make it safe, but still fun for visitors.

Employees are using hospital-grade disinfectant to clean the balls, and are asking all customers leave their balls at their lanes after playing so they can be disinfected before the next group comes.

Although customers aren't required to wear face masks at Del Mar, all employees will wear them at all times. And of course, they'll be operating at 25 percent capacity, only using every other lane.

ABC13 also visited the Family Bingo Center off the North Loop where owner Amanda Pool says they're just looking forward to getting back to a sense of normalcy.

RELATED: These Houston bars will welcome customers for the phase 2 reopening
"We have three sanitation stations at the hall, and we physically removed quite a few chairs," Pool said.

When people show up, they'll be called up by number to make sure they aren't standing too close together when buying bingo cards.

They also have markers placed on the ground to remind customers to stand six feet apart.

Like Del Mar Lanes, face masks won't be required, but are encouraged.

In order to operate at 25 percent capacity, only 175 people will be allowed inside at a time.

Additionally, Bowlero, which operates eight bowling alleys across the area, reopened four of their locations this afternoon at 4pm. They include Bowlero Stafford, Bowlero Webster, Bowlero Willowbrook and Bowlmor Houston.

They've spent the last two months finding ways to make their bowling alleys safer for employees and customers. New protocols include personal protection equipment and temperature checks for employees, the installation of plexiglass shields, and the serving of all food and beverages in one-time use containers.

As it relates to the bowling experience, only four to six people are allowed in each group, fewer lanes are open, and balls, stations and shoes are sanitized thoroughly between parties. Furthermore, guests won't type their names into the computer at each station - that will be done by employees at the front desk.

"I can assure you that bowling is safe," said James Sowell, senior district manager at Bowlero. "With the size of the building and procedures we've put in place, I feel that bowling is very safe."

Skating rinks also have the option to reopen at a 25% capacity today. Skate Champions, which has been serving the Spring community for 35 years, opened its doors at noon today. Skaters there found all of the employees wearing gloves and masks, added shields around the skate rental and food areas, stricter sanitation of skates, and dining tables spaced further apart.
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There are also staff on the floor to ensure skaters are practicing social distancing.

"We've put in every precaution possible," said Bob Justice of Skate Champions.

Both Bowlero and Skate Champions have arcades, but those won't reopen per orders of Governor Abbott.
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Here's what measures local bowling alleys and bingo halls are taking to make sure visitors stay safe while having some fun.

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