Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a new Executive Order Friday morning that will close bars and limit capacity inside restaurants to 50 percent, a press release from the Governor's office said.
"This decision comes as the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 and the number of hospitalizations have increased and the positivity rate in Texas increased above 10 percent, which the Governor previously stated would lead to further preventative action," the release states.
The order states all bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at 12 p.m. today. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
All restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50% of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday, June 29. The order will also shutdown rafting and tubing businesses, and outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.
"At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars," Abbott said in the release. "The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and enhance 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.”