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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Requires Houston Bars to Close Again As COVID-19 Cases Surge

Also, restaurants will have to reduce their capacity back to 50 percent of normal starting on Monday

In response to a bonafide surge of new coronavirus cases across the state of Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered bars in Houston and beyond to close their doors once again.

In an executive order issued on Friday morning, all establishments that earn more than 50 percent of revenue from the sale of alcohol are required to close their doors at noon today. According to a press release from Abbott’s office, those bars may continue take-out service, and that includes cocktail kit take-out, even if to-go mixed drinks are still off the table.

Starting on Monday, June 29, restaurants will also be required to reduce their capacity from 75 percent of normal occupancy to 50 percent, just a little over two weeks after they were able to expand that capacity on June 12.

“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” Abbott said in a statement. “The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health.”

Abbott’s latest executive order comes as the state of Texas’s positivity rate, or the number of people testing positive for COVID-19, exceeds 10 percent. At present, more than 130,000 positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the state, including upwards of 25,000 in Harris County alone.

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