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While Texas Bars Can Open to 50-Percent Capacity, They Probably Won’t in Harris County

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Up to date 10:15 p.m. Oct 7

Whereas bars in Galveston and Montgomery counties will open, Harris County Choose Lina Hidalgo tweeted yesterday that she’s leaning towards opening bars.

Printed 4:23 p.m. Oct 7

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday issued an government order that permits bars or comparable institutions throughout Texas to reopen and function at as much as 50-percent capability for in-person service beginning October 14.

“It’s time to open them up,” said Abbott in a video posted on his Facebook page Wednesday afternoon. “Bars should observe distance and seating protocols, identical to eating places have used, in addition to different protocols which are supposed to comprise the unfold of Covid.”

In response to an update to the state’s minimum standard health protocols for Covid-19, all staff and prospects at bars should put on a face masking over the nostril and mouth “wherever it isn’t possible to keep up six ft of social distancing from one other particular person not in the identical family, besides when seated on the bar or comparable institution to eat or drink.” Additionally, tables ought to “typically” be at the very least six ft from each other, dance flooring are purported to be closed, and staff must be screened earlier than coming into the institution.

The protocols additionally state that institutions like bars haven’t got an occupancy restrict outside.

Abbott first closed bars in March because the coronavirus was first spreading via Texas. He reopened bars at 25-percent capability in Might, however weeks later he backtracked, saying bars had been recognized to be areas the place the virus may propagate. Eating places have since been capable of reopen and are actually allowed to seat as much as 75 p.c of standard capability of their eating rooms. Till now, bars and river tubing operations, which may even be capable of reopen at 50-percent capability on October 14, had been the one kinds of companies that remained closed by the state. 

Lastly, Abbott mentioned Wednesday that companies which are at the moment allowed to function at 50 p.c capability, like film theaters, amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, and fine-art galleries, can now function at 75-percent capability.

There’s a caveat to all of this, although. Re-openings can solely happen in hospital areas the place the Covid-19 hospitalization fee is lower than 15 p.c of hospital capability. Plus, county judges should decide their counties into these new openings.