Bars in Houston and across the state of Texas will be immediately allowed to increase their occupancy to 50 percent capacity following a new order from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
Abbott announced via press release today that the state of Texas is officially in phase three of his Open Texas plan for reopening the state following coronavirus-related shutdowns. In this latest phase, restaurants will now be allowed to seat 10 patrons per table instead of just six. Bars, which had previously been limited to 25 percent capacity, will be allowed to increase their occupancy to 50 percent of their normally allowed capacity, but service at the actual bar is still off-limits.
On June 12, restaurants in Texas will be allowed to reopen at 75 percent capacity; and in counties where there are less than ten active COVID-19 cases, all businesses will be able to expand capacity to 75 percent of normal occupancy. Fourth of July events like fireworks shows and other outdoor gatherings, will be allowed per “special provisions” in the Open Texas plan.
The news of broader reopening comes one day after Harris County announced 350 new COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row on Tuesday. At present, the state of Texas has has reported more than 67,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 13,000 of which are in Harris County.