Americans in about half of U.S. states, led by Texas and Georgia, began emerging on Friday from home confinement while California and New York held fast to business closures and other restrictions imposed in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Texas on Friday began a phased-in reopening of businesses shuttered more than a month ago, with restaurants, retail stores and malls allowed to open at 25 per cent capacity.

A second phase is planned for May 18 if infection rates continue to decline.

“It’s a fraction of a typical Friday crowd, but compared to the last couple months it’s better than zero,” said Omid Rafiei co-owner the Wakefield Crow Bar in Houston, which reopened for dine-in customers with a limited menu.

“I feel comfortable with the protocols we have in place,” Rafiei said, referring to required face masks for staff and greater separation between tables.

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0:46Coronavirus outbreak: DeBlasio takes aim at Trump over ‘Liberate’ tweet

Coronavirus outbreak: DeBlasio takes aim at Trump over ‘Liberate’ tweet

Across Texas,