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Texas Governor Closes Restaurant Dining Rooms and Bars in the State

The executive order, applying to dine-in service, begins Thursday, March 19 at midnight

Photo of colorful bars, clubs and businesses at the famous Sixth Street music and entertainment district of downtown Austin, Texas, USA, illuminated at night. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order closing all Texas restaurant dining rooms and bars for dine-in service within his declaration of a public health disaster in the state, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Texas restaurants will be able to stay open to serve takeout, pickup, and drive-through orders. The order begins tonight, Thursday, March 19 and runs through Friday, April 3.

This order is similar to mandates already in place in Austin, Houston, and Dallas (though all with varying end dates) as well as other states like Oregon and Massachusetts. In Austin, the ban on dine-in service runs through Friday, May 1.

Gov. Abbott’s executive order, announced during a press conference at noon, follows the recommendations of the CDC. Along with the state-wide dining room and bar shutters, it includes avoiding social gatherings of groups of more than 10 people.

Last night, the governor also issued a waiver allowing businesses with mixed-use beverage permits to deliver mixed drinks, beer, and wine as well.

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