Bars in Texas can reopen Oct. 14 at 50% capacity, depends on each County Judge

FILE: A patron at West Alabama Ice House opens a beer before Texas Governor Greg Abbotts order that all bars are to be closed at noon today in Houston, Texas on June 26, 2020.

Bars in Texas can finally reopen after several months of being closed.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Wednesday that the state will allow bars and similar establishments to open at 50% capacity in regions with low COVID-19 hospitalizations starting Wednesday, Oct. 14.

MORE: Governor Abbott says to watch his Facebook, teases announcement

Gov. Abbott did give the power to County Judges to opt their county into these openings provided they assist in enforcing health protocols with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

"Our state is prepared for these additional openings, but we all must remain vigilant and show personal responsibility to protect ourselves and our loved ones," Gov. Abbott wrote in a statement.

He released the details of the executive order in a Facebook video on Wednesday afternoon after posting a teaser on Twitter.

Checklists for both bars and bar patrons have been added to Governor Abbott's Strike Force to Open Texas page on his website.

Also on Oct. 14, all counties where COVID-19 hospitalizations are less than 15% of hospital capacity can increase capacity to 75% at all businesses other than bars.

Hours after Gov. Abbott announced the new executive order, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said the county's not ready to reopen bars yet.

Harris Co. bars to remain closed for now, says Judge Lina Hidalgo

Judge Lina Hidalgo says Harris County cannot responsibly have further reopenings until the virus is under control, striking a blow to bar industry in the county.

The last wave of Texas reopenings happened on Sept. 21, when Gov. Abbott expanded capacity to 75% at all retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, manufacturers, museums, libraries, and gyms. 

Hospitals also returned to ordinary elective surgeries, and nursing homes and assisted-living centers allowed for visitors.

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