AUSTIN - 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.
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.
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.
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.