Abbott Announces Phase 3 Occupancy Increases for Texas Restaurants and Bars

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced via press release that “Phase Three” of Texas’s reopening plan begins today. This phase includes several new provisions for bars and restaurants that will be rolled out over the next few days.

Wednesday, June 3

  • “Bars and similar establishments may increase their capacity to 50% as long as patrons are seated.”
  • “Restaurants may expand their maximum table size from 6 to 10 persons.”

Friday, June 12

  • “Restaurants may expand their occupancy levels to 75%.”

The release also states the restaurants and bars must continue to follow the health protocols established in Phase One and Phase Two. The details for restaurant safety can be found in this article, and those for bars in a separate one.

The timing of the announcement is curious, as COVID-19 cases in Texas are spiking again. The Texas Tribune reports that new positive cases across Texas are up 10,350 more than a week ago, and there were 172 more deaths this week than during the previous one.

Abbott chose to not hold a press conference to make his announcement as he has done for Phase One and Phase Two and instead communicated the new guidelines via a press release. In the statement, he said: “The people of Texas continue to prove that we can safely and responsibly open our state for business while containing COVID-19 and keeping our state safe … If we remain vigilant, we will continue to mitigate the spread of this virus, protect public health, and get more Texans back to work and their daily activities.”

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