District judge rules to allow dine-in restrictions in Austin-Travis County

The legal battle over the curfew between Austin and the state seems far from over

A judge ruled that due to COVID concerns, the city may restrict meal times for bars and restaurants, but that didn’t stop some businesses from staying open. John Krinjak of FOX 7 Austin has the details.

A district judge ruled in favor of the city of Austin and Travis Counties in a Texas Attorney General lawsuit against a recent curfew to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

After hearing from Austin-Travis County officials and Attorney General Ken Paxton, District Judge Amy Clark Meachum decided to allow the city and county new dine-in restrictions.

“I believe cities have the authority to try to protect their communities in situations where the state doesn’t. I don’t know how long or if this district court decision will stand,” said Steve Adler, mayor from Austin.

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District judges rule to allow food restrictions in Austin-Travis County

After a knockback from the state, Austin-Travis County may force food and beverage companies to close for dinner between 10:30 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. during the holiday weekend.

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After a knockback from the state, Austin-Travis County may force food and beverage companies to close for dinner between 10:30 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. during the holiday weekend.

“The decisions we make are not about the risks to ourselves. The decisions we are making in our community right now are about how many intensive care beds our community has. That is why I believe that people who put themselves in positions tonight, in which they are with people they do not live with and who do not wear a mask or behave selfishly and endanger the entire community, “said Mayor Adler.

Heads of State Say Austin’s Temporary Curfew Is “Not Allowed”

A battle is brewing over the new bar and restaurant curfew in Travis County.

RELATED: State versus City: Austin Court Battle Over Curfew

Hours after the decision was published, Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office released this statement:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced today that he has appealed to the Austin Third Court of Appeals and asked the court to enforce the orders of Austin Mayor Steve Adler and the Travis County Magistrate , Andy Brown, who illegally mandate a four-day closure from December 31 to January 3, 10:30 pm to 6:00 am. The town and county ordinances are blatant violations of state law. “

RELATED: Restaurant Owners Are Pushing Out Local Curfews

Several bars and restaurants are telling FOX 7 Austin they are open, including the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Icehouse on West 6th Street.

“We will weigh our risks and consequences in being entrepreneurs living in a free nation and state, and we will continue to celebrate the New Year and 2020 Graduation,” said Austin Talley, operations manager of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Icehouse.

RELATED: Austin May Be Out of Intensive Care Beds in 1-2 weeks if the trend continues

Restaurant owners are pushing against local curfews

Restaurant owners are urging the city of Austin and Travis County’s recent order to close restaurants and bars on New Years Eve.

Talley says no one will be admitted unless they have booked a table beforehand. The facility will be 40% busy by 2 a.m., with multiple social distancing protocols in place. Talley says they will also enforce that everyone wear a mask.

RELATED: Critical Care Doctor Explains What Austin Hospitals Are Like During A Pandemic

“We wanted to be good stewards. We attended, sometimes to our own detriment, and we were closed for months. It’s not just a couple of $ 1,000 worth of lost revenue. It’s millions of dollars worth of revenue “said Talley.

Governor Greg Abbott posted this statement on Twitter:

“The governor’s statewide executive order allows food establishments to dine in person on New Years Eve as approved by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. They should stay open. Happy New Year!”

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