With hospital rates down, Governor Abbott announces bars can re-open at 50% capacity starting October 14th. Entertainment businesses like amusement parks, movie theaters and zoos can expand to 75% capacity.
Governor Abbott says the bars will need to follow distance and seating protocols much like restaurants have used. He’s says he’s confident this reopening will go smoothly since Texans have shown they can contain the spread of COVID. “Protocols in place this time are better than used previously. And that is due in part to the helpful input we received from bar owners and associations.”
County Judges can opt in to the new openings as long as they assist with the enforcing of the restrictions.
Austin’s mayor is not on board with the idea of opening bars again. He’s said it repeatedly this year, and once again Mayor Steve Adler says bars are basically super-spreaders of COVID-19, and he’s not convinced the governor has made the right call here.
He’s also not convinced local bars will actually get the all clear to open on October 14. “AISD just opened up, it could be that (Austin Area Health Authority) Dr. Mark Escott wants to make sure there is no spike. It could be that it’d be tied to positivity numbers.”
Whatever decision Escott makes, Adler says much discussion will need to be had with County Judge Sam Biscoe about this. But on that note, Judge Biscoe has not laid out any timeline, just yet.