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Abbott: Counties can now allow bars to open at 50 percent capacity

BEXAR COUNTY, Tex. (Texas News Radio) — Bars will be allowed to reopen here in Texas beginning October 14th.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order Wednesday that will allow counties to allow bars and similar establishments to open at 50 percent occupancy in regions with low COVID-19 hospitalizations.  The final decision on whether bars can reopen will be up to county judges.

In addition to bars reopening, all businesses that are not bars can operate at 75 percent capacity.

“Even as more businesses have opened and students return to school, Texans have shown we can contain the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “Thanks to Texans following the best health practices, our state is prepared for additional openings, including bars. Working with industry leaders and our team of medical experts, the State of Texas has now developed strategies to safely open bars under certain health protocols. To ensure bars open safely, these openings will be done in conjunction with county officials. County Judges will be able to opt their county into opening bars so long as they assist in enforcing the health protocols. Opening bars does not mean that COVID-19 is no longer a threat, and most Texans are still susceptible to the virus. As bars and similar businesses begin to open, we all must remain vigilant and show personal responsibility to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”

Abbott also encouraged Texans to continue following best practices in mitigating COVID-19 spread.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff is expected to talk about the county’s plans later Wednesday.

Comal County Judge Sherman Krause is talking to his county’s mayors, the TABC, and law enforcement to determine whether the county will opt-in.

Updated to include information about county plans.


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