Governor Abbott Issues Executive Order Closing Bars, Scaling Back Restaurant Capacity

San Antonio — Friday morning, Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order to scale back restaurant capacities, and order bars to close at noon, in response to the alarming growth in COVID-19 cases in Texas.

In order to scale back the reopening, bars and similar establishments whose receipts consist of 51% or more of alcohol sales, must close by noon, but may remain open for delivery and takeout.

Restaurant dining spaces must decrease to 50% capacity from the current 75%.

Rafting and Tubing outfitters must close, and gatherings of more than 100 people must be first approved by local governments.

“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10%, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said in a news release. “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars. The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health.”

“We want this to be as limited in duration as possible. However, we can only slow the spread if everyone in Texas does their part. Every Texan has a responsibility to themselves and their loved ones to wear a mask, wash their hands, stay six feet apart from others in public, and stay home if they can. I know that our collective action can lead to a reduction in the spread of COVID-19 because we have done it before, and we will do it again.”

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Bexar Country Judge Nelson Wolff and Mayor Ron Nirenberg already issued their bans on gatherings of 100 people or more.

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