Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Friday morning that all bars must shut down by noon today and also scaled back restaurant capacities in an attempt to combat the surge of coronavirus cases.
“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” Governor Abbott said in a statement. “The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health.”
Under the new orders issued Friday, bars, clubs, and other similar businesses that make more than 51% of their gross revenue from the sale of alcohol must close by noon Friday. However, those establishments can provide delivery and take-out services, including beverage sales, if they wish.
Additionally, restaurants are required to reduce capacity at 50% starting on Monday. Previously, restaurants were able to operate at 75% capacity.
Governor Abbott also announced that river-rafting trips and tubing must close and any outdoor gatherings of 100 or more individuals must be approved by local governments.
All throughout the week, the governor has been urging Texans to stay home whenever possible and to wear masks when in public. He also announced on Thursday that the state would be temporarily pausing its reopening plan.
Abbott has not said when bars will be allowed to reopen at this time.