This story will continue to be updated with the latest details.
Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an executive order that requires bars and similar establishments that receive 51% of their gross receipts from alcohol sales to close at 12 p.m. Friday.
The measure also requires restaurants to reduce occupancy for dine-in to 50% on Monday.
The order comes just one day after Abbott announced a pause of further reopening phases in the state due "to the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations."
“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10%, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said in a written statement.
The positivity rate is the percentage of people being tested for COVID-19 who are found to have the disease. The higher positivity rate shows that spikes in the number of new coronavirus cases aren't solely due to increased testing.
According to the governor's office, the bar and restaurant businesses that sell more than 51% alcohol are allowed to open for delivery and take-out service, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Under the latest order, restaurants are allowed to remain open for dine-in, but at capacity not to exceed 50% of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday.
"At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars," Abbott said.
The Texas Restaurant Association released a statement that partially reads:
"We understand this order will not impact outdoor patios of restaurants, where we know many members are seeing great success. We’re also hearing very strong indicators that we will be able to sell mixed beverages to-go soon. While we know these measures will not replace a full dining room, they will certainly help many restaurants through this difficult time."
In addition to the latest restrictions, rafting and tubing businesses in the state must close and any outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by the local government officials.
The governor's office reminded residents to wear their masks and to practice social distancing in efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
This is a developing story. Download our free WFAA app to stay up-to-date on all news stories in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
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