Central Texas bars reopening and staying closed

Bars can only reopen on Oct. 14 if the county judge of each county opts in with the TABC.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor’s note: KVUE has reached out to all Central Texas county judges on their decision. This story will be updated on what they decide.

Some local bars are reopening their doors again.

On Sept. 7, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that all Texas bars can reopen at 50% capacity after hinting about it on social media. But, there’s a catch. The bars can only reopen on Oct. 14 if the county judge of each county opts in with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). 

RELATED: Gov. Greg Abbott announces Texas bars can reopen at 50% capacity if county judges opt in

The bars in counties that do allow them to reopen must follow strict guidelines. Bars must make sure all customers are seated while eating or drinking and groups

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Montgomery County judge says Abbott’s plan for bars not good enough

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough was pleased Gov. Greg Abbott’s new order for the state regarding COVID-19 will allow bars to reopen Oct. 14 at 50 percent but says it falls short in helping many business owners.

“Kudos to the governor, thank you for finally doing something,” he said. “The problem is it is too little too late. These bars are out of business. I’m in for 100 percent.”

Late Wednesday, Abbott released GA-32, allowing county judges to “opt in” to open bars and “similar establishments” to reopen at 50 percent and all other business other than bars to open 75 percent. The order does place restriction on bar operations including when customers are walking around, they much wear masks and can only remove them when they are drinking at tables with less than six people.

While Harris County Judge Linda Hildalgo took to Twitter after Abbott’s release of GA-32

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