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Texas adds restrictions to restaurants, closes bars because of COVID-19 surge

Route 66 travelers will find closed taverns today and restaurants capped at 50% capacity in Texas starting Monday after the governor imposed new restrictions because of a steep rise in coronavirus cases there.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued these orders Friday:

  • All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at 12:00 PM today. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. 
  • Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50% of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday, June 29, 2020.
  • Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
  • Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.

That means popular Route 66-related restaurants such as the Big Texan Steak Ranch and Golden Light Cafe in Amarillo and Midpoint Cafe in Adrian might see lengthy waits if customers arrive at breakfast or lunch rush times.

Abbott said he wanted the restrictions in as “limited in duration as possible” but did not give a possible timeline when they would end.

Abbott didn’t elaborate on why he targeted bars and restaurants with the new restrictions, but

According to the Amarillo Globe-News, Texas saw a record high of COVID-19 cases for a third straight day Thursday, and the number of hospitalizations also hit a record high for 14 straight days.

Arizona is experiencing an even more catastrophic rise in coronavirus cases, though additional restrictions haven’t been imposed.

(Image of the Midpoint Cafe by Pete Zarria via Flickr)

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