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Texas Dining Rooms Will Now Be Closed Until May

Takeout, drive-thru, and delivery food services are allowed to continue during this time

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott during a press conference this weekend
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott during a press conference this weekend
Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Last night, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a new executive order extending the closure of all Texas restaurant dining rooms and bars for dine-in service through Thursday, April 30, in order to continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the state by promoting social distancing. (The original order was due to end this week on Friday, April 3.)

As before, restaurants and food trucks are still able to stay open only for takeout, drive-thru, and delivery services, while also following required sanitization rules, during this time. Food services are considered essential under the US Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines. That category also includes grocery stores, gas stations, and farms, among others. People are also still allowed to go outside for fresh air and exercise.

This statewide order comes on top existing city orders. In Austin, Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt’s similar order closing city restaurant dining rooms runs through Friday, May 1. On top of that, Austin officials’ “stay home work safe” order (similar to shelter-in-place mandates across the country), which closes all nonessential businesses and bans all social gatherings but allows for takeout/drive-thru/delivery food services, ends on Monday, April 13.

The governor’s updated executive order begins on Thursday, April 2 at 12:01 a.m. Those who don’t follow the rules will be subjected to a $1,000 fine and/or jail for up to 180 days.