Erath County bars open to 50%

E-T Staff Report

Erath County Judge Alfonso Campos has applied for the option to re-open bars in the county, following an announcement by Gov. Greg Abbott, who declared that it’s time for bars to re-open.

Abbott left the decision to opt into that re-opening up to county judges.

Campos applied on behalf of the county late last week, according to a news release from his office, giving local bars the option to reopen starting on Wednesday of this past week.

Several local bars had already re-opened and have been operating after reclassifying as restaurants under TABC’s guidelines released in August. Those bars that were unable to meet the qualifications as a restaurant may see their first customers since they were shut down a second time in June.

“Until now, only two types of businesses have not been open since July, one is river tubing operations and the other is bars. It is time to open them up,” Abbott said in a video posted to social media.

According to Abbott's order, bars may re-open at 50% occupancy in counties where COVID-19 hospitalizations make up less than 15% of hospital capacity. Erath County falls into this category. 

Bars that do open will have to follow social distancing guidelines. Customers will have to be seated, groups will be limited to six people, dance floors will remain closed and masks will be required when walking to or from a table, the release states.

The governor indicated by following those protocols, Texans can make sure bars don’t have to shut down for a third time this year.