Following Gov. Abbott announcement, Williamson County to open its bars, while Travis County holds off

“It is time for all of our businesses to be open to serve our public while following the governor’s health protocols to be safe," County Judge Bill Gravell said. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
“It is time for all of our businesses to be open to serve our public while following the governor’s health protocols to be safe," County Judge Bill Gravell said. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

“It is time for all of our businesses to be open to serve our public while following the governor’s health protocols to be safe," County Judge Bill Gravell said. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said he intends to allow bars and similar establishments to operate following Gov. Greg Abbott's Oct. 7 announcement, while Travis County officials said they will hold off before a decision is made.

Abbott announced that bars will be allowed to open Oct. 14, as will
river tubing operations, movie theaters and amusement parks, among others.

For bars, facial coverings must be worn by employees and patrons when 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained or when seated to eat or drink, Abbott said. Additionally, outdoor bars will not be subject to an occupancy limit, he said.

Gravell said the establishments will operate with in-person service at 50% while following Abbott’s minimum standard health protocols.

“It is time for all of our businesses to be open to serve our public while following the governor’s health protocols to be safe," Gravell said in a news release. "Our county residents have shown that they can be smart and protect themselves and others. This is another step forward for us as a community, and we can do this safely and wisely."


Conversely, Travis County
Judge Sam Biscoe intends to take the next several days to speak with the county attorney’s office and determine what authority has finally been returned to local governments, per a separate news release.

Additionally, the statement from Public Information Officer Hector Nieto on behalf of the judge said he will continue to confer with the Austin-Travis County Health Authority to chart out the county's safest route to ensuring a healthy population and economy, the release said.