Gov. Abbott Announces Texas Bars Can Reopen Next Week If County Judges Allow It
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced via Facebook that bars, wineries, and similar establishments can reopen in Texas beginning Wednesday, October 14th, but with certain rules and only if county judges allow it.
Beginning October 14th, bars in counties where county judges opt-in to allow bars to operate will be allowed to open at 50 percent capacity indoors. There are no capacity limits for outside seating at bars or other similar establishments.
With Gov. Abbott's latest announcement, he's giving some control back to local authorities after taking that control away earlier this summer. County judges will be the ones responsible for re-opening bars in their counties. It's safe to assume that some counties, such as Dallas and Harris, will not be opting in as quickly as others. County officials must also agree to help enforce the rules.
Bar customers must remain seated while eating or drinking according to the rules released by the Governor's Office. Also, no groups larger than six may sit together. The expansions will only apply in the hospital regions where coronavirus patients make up 15 percent or less of the total people hospitalized.
You can read the governor's full guidelines and rules pertaining to bars, wineries, and other similar establishments here.
Governor Abbott also announced that businesses currently operating at 50 percent capacity may now expand to 75 percent. That means aquariums, movie theaters, bowling alleys, bingo halls, and even amusement parks can open to larger crowds.
Some bars in Lubbock and across Texas have already re-opened under a new license from the TABC that allows them to operate as a restaurant. No word from the Governor's Office on how those bars, which are now restaurants, are impacted by the decision.