Gov. Greg Abbott says bars must close by noon, restaurants to scale back capacity

Tubing outfitters also forced to close in new executive order

Gov. Greg Abbott addresses a news conference at the State Capitol in Austin, Texas, about the coronavirus pandemic Monday, June 22, 2020. Abbott said he has no plans to shut down the state again. "We must find ways to return to our daily routines as well as finding ways to coexist with COVID-19," Abbott said. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Gov. Greg Abbott addresses a news conference at the State Capitol in Austin, Texas, about the coronavirus pandemic Monday, June 22, 2020. Abbott said he has no plans to shut down the state again. "We must find ways to return to our daily routines as well as finding ways to coexist with COVID-19," Abbott said. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman via AP) (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

SAN ANTONIO – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday took a tougher stance on curbing the coronavirus pandemic by further scaling back reopenings.

A new executive order issued on Friday states that bars and similar establishments whose receipts consist of 51% or more of alcohol sales must close by noon, but they can remain open for delivery and takeout. He did not say when the establishments might reopen.

Restaurant dining spaces must operate at a 50% capacity starting on Monday, June 29 — a decrease from 75%, Abbott has ordered.

Also under the new orders, rafting and tubing outfitters must close, just ahead of Fourth of July weekend.

Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more must also be approved by local governments. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg had already issued a ban on gatherings of 100 people or more.

Governor Greg Abbott pauses additional reopening phases due to surge in COVID-19 in Texas

Friday’s order was issued as Texas — specifically major cities — continues to see a spike in COVID-19 cases. On Thursday, Abbott temporarily paused additional plans to reopen Texas and paused elective surgeries in Bexar County to preserve hospital space.

Abbott previously stated the deciding factor in scaling back operations depended on hospitalizations and positivity rate, which has now surpassed 10%.


About the Author: