Texas Governor Greg Abbott has scaled back restaurant dine-in capacity to 50 percent statewide in response to a massive resurgence of the coronavirus, especially in big cities like Houston. Abbott also ordered all bars to temporarily close down.
Restaurants have been allowed to operate dine-in services at 75 percent capacity in Texas, while bars could run at 50 percent capacity. Abbott ordered bars to close by noon on Friday and restaurants to scale back to 50 percent by Monday.
On Thursday, Texas posted a record number of 5,996 new cases of COVID-19 and broke a record for hospitalizations with 4,739. More than 2,300 Texans have died from the coronavirus so far.
Abbott has said he will press the pause button on future reopening plans for foodservice establishments and certain other businesses.
Florida, another state experiencing a record number of new coronavirus cases, has also temporarily banned the consumption of alcoholic beverages in bars. The state has taken no action on restaurant capacity. Florida’s Department of Health reported 8,942 new cases—the highest total yet and a dramatic uptick from the previous record of 5,508 cases just two days earlier. The pandemic has claimed 3,366 lives in Florida since March 1.