Texas Bars, Bowling, and BINGO to Open May 22
It's been a burning question since Texas began the re-opening process in early May: When will the bars be opening?
If you've been eagerly awaiting the day you can go where everybody knows your name, the answer is this Friday, May 22nd.
According to Governor Greg Abbott's Strike Force to Open Texas, the following establishments can re-open that day with appropriate public health and safety protocols in place:
Bars may begin operating at 25% of their usual capacity. If the bar contains any arcade games, play areas for kids, or other interactive features, those features must remain closed for now. Staff will be asked to only serve seated customers, and no more than 6 people will be allowed to sit together at one table. Customers are asked to keep at least 6 feet away from other parties.
Bowling alleys, BINGO halls, skating rinks, and simulcasting establishments will be permitted to operate at 25% of their usual capacity. Bowling alleys will need to provide a minimum of 6 feet social distancing between active lanes. BINGO halls will need to require that customers are seated at least 6 feet apart, and simulcasting joints will need to require 6 feet between costumers as well. Again, any play areas or arcade/gaming stations will need to remain closed for now.
Zoos, aquariums, and natural caverns will be able to operate at, you guessed it, 25% capacity. (In the case of zoos, that will be determined by the zoo owner based on usual operational limits.) Indoor areas of zoos other than restrooms will need to remain closed, and interactive features like play areas and arcades will remain closed as well.
Rodeos and equestrian events will be permitted beginning May 22nd. Indoor and outdoor areas will need to limit spectators to 25% of capacity, and space for at least 6 feet of social distancing will need to be provided at entrances and exits. The Governor's office recommends groups of people not of the same household continue social distancing. Larger gatherings including a rodeo or equestrian event, such as county fairs, will not be permitted for the time being.
The Governor's office has provided these businesses and venues with special guidelines for sanitizing and and looking out for customer health and safety.
TL;DR, you'll be able to go to a bar this Friday, May 22nd, but there will be some new rules in place to help with health and safety of customers. You can also go bowling or play BINGO, again, with special safety rules in place.
Sure it's not perfect, but hey, if you've been missing going to your favorite bar, this is a start. Just be a decent person and don't hassle the staff or owners when they enforce the safety protocols. COVID-19 hasn't magically vanished, and officials are trying to balance re-opening with slowing the spread.
On May 18, tattoo and piercing studios, salons and barber shops, massages places, electrolysis and waxing establishments, and hair loss treatment centers were permitted to re-open with safety protocols in place as well.