KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas — Yesterday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order to allow, in part, bars in certain counties with low COVID-19 hospitalizations to reopen at 50% capacity with authorization from their respective county judges and enforcement of health protocols.
Today, Kaufman County Judge Hal Richards has confirmed to inForney.com he has submitted appropriate paperwork with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) authorizing bar establishments in Kaufman County to reopen at 50% capacity, beginning October 14, 2020.
Abbott's executive order also increases the occupancy levels for all business establishments, other than bars, to 75%.
"Even as more businesses have opened and students return to school, Texans have shown we can contain the spread of COVID-19," stated 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," he continued. "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," Abbott cautioned. "As bars and similar businesses begin to open, we all must remain vigilant and show personal responsibility to protect ourselves and our loved ones."
According to the executive order, only counties where Trauma Service Area (TSA) hospitalizations are less than 15% may allow for the reopening of bars with county judge authorization and only at 50%. Additionally, as recommended by trade associations representing bars, dance floors and similar establishments will remain closed.
"Consistent with protocols for restaurants, all patrons must be seated while eating or drinking (with limited exceptions for sampling at breweries, distilleries, and wineries), and must wear masks when they are not seated at a table," read a statement from the governor's office announcing the executive order. "Additionally, tables must be limited to six individuals or less and all establishments must follow specific curfew guidelines."