Texas governor shuts down Austin bars in response to COVID-19 surge

In the recent move on the Texas coronavirus seesaw, Governor Greg Abbott has introduced a new round of restrictions that include closing bars and limiting restaurant occupancy.

The Executive Order requires bars in Texas to close at 12:00 noon on Friday, June 26, although they are still allowed to make deliveries and take-away, including alcoholic beverages.

Restaurants must return to their previous occupancy rate of 50 percent, compared to their previous 75 percent.

The Texas Restaurant Association issued a press release acknowledging that Governor Abbott “made a tough decision today” based on the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Abbott’s appointment includes:

  • All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51 percent of their gross income from the sale of alcoholic beverages must close at 12:00 noon on June 26th. These stores may remain open for delivery and takeaway, including alcoholic beverages, if approved by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

  • The restaurants may still be open for dining service, but as of Monday June 29, they may not exceed 50 percent of the total indoor occupancy listed.

  • Rafting and tubing shops have to close.

  • Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.

The order does not affect the outside terraces of restaurants.

The order comes a day after Abbott took a “break” from reopening in Texas after a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The Texas hospitals treated 4,738 patients, a record for the 14th straight day.

Places of worship, childcare services, local government operations and youth camps, which can be operated without capacity restrictions, are not affected.

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