On Wednesday, Texas governor Greg Abbott announced that bars across the state can increase their occupancy to 50 percent of normal capacity starting today.
The announcement came in a press release from the governor’s office, and the state is officially in phase three of Abbott’s Open Texas reopening plan. Under the new guidelines, bars will be allowed to increase capacity to 50 percent as long as patrons are seated, which means that the actual bar is still off limits for service. That’s a significant increase for bars, which were only allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity during phase two.
As far as restaurants are concerned, eateries can begin seating tables of 10 (previously restaurants were limited to parties of 6) on June 3. On June 12, restaurants will be allowed to increase capacity to 75 percent of normal occupancy. Fourth of July events, like fireworks shows and other outdoor gatherings, are also allowed per some “special provisions” in the Open Texas plan.
The news of broader reopening comes one day after Dallas County announced “record high” new cases of the novel coronavirus, according to the Dallas Morning News. At present, there are more than 10,000 active coronavirus cases in Dallas County.
Update, 5:54 p.m.: This post has been updated to reflect the correct number of active coronavirus cases in Dallas County.