Gov. Greg Abbott Reverses Course, Orders All Texas Bars to Close Again
Amid a surge of new COVID-19 cases across Texas, Governor Greg Abbott is pulling back on reopening plans.
Gov. Abbott on Friday (June 26th) touted his new executive action to "contain the spread of COVID-19." The governor's initial reopening plan for Texas, which started in May, allowed bars to reopen on May 22nd. The uptick in COVID-19 cases in Texas came around a month later, with Texas recording several record-breaking days in a row this past week.
According to the new executive action, bars in Texas must close by noon on Friday, June 26th, 2020. Meanwhile, restaurants must return to 50 percent maximum occupancy.
Here's a brief explanation of how the order impacts businesses:
- All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at 12:00 PM today. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
- Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50% of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday, June 29, 2020.
- Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
- Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.
"As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10 percent, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott in a statement. "At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars."
Lubbock, Texas saw a spike in positive COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, including a single-day record of 140 new cases on June 23rd.
Gov. Abbott's full executive order can be read here.