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All Texas Bars Have to Close Again Because of Coronavirus Surge

Texas restaurants will have to revert back to operating at 50 percent indoor capacities on June 29

A bar in Austin
Photo by Sergio Flores/AFP via 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.

All Texas bars must close as of noon today, Friday, June 26, as ordered by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this morning. Texas restaurants will also have to revert back to operating at indoor capacities of 50 percent starting on Monday, June 29. This is part of the effort to slow down the spread of COVID-19 amid the rapid increasing of cases and hospitalizations in the state and the positivity rate that is above 10 percent.

This new bar shutter applies to businesses that make more than 51 percent of its gross receipts from alcohol sales. There are no set dates as to when bars will be able to reopen yet. All bars and restaurants that were able to serve takeout and alcohol to-go are able to do so still.

Along with bars, outdoor public gatherings of 100 people or more in Texas can only convene with the approval of local governments, and all rafting and tubing companies in the state must close.

Before this order was issued, bars were allowed to reopen for service at 50 percent indoor capacity and restaurants at 75 percent indoor capacity, and both for full outdoor capacities, while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

In Austin, businesses, including restaurants and bars, are required to make sure that employees and customers wear masks. Mayor Steve Adler had previously asked already-open local businesses to reduce their indoor capacities to 25 percent last week.