The order gives each county judge the authority to opt in or out, and Comal County Judge Sherman Krause submitted opt-in paperwork to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission on Oct. 8.
Before officially opting in, Krause met with local health officials, mayors, TABC officials and law enforcement to create an Open Safe Plan for bar owners to complete and submit to the county for approval, according to a press release.
“COVID-19 is still a threat to our community, but this is a small step we can take towards getting back to normal,” Krause said in the release. “Business owners need to take this health threat seriously, but we can still provide a safe environment while open for business. It’s up to us to do it right.”
Included in the Open Safe Plan are requirements for bars to minimize touch points throughout their establishment, enforce mask-wearing among employees, maintain at least 6 feet of space between tables, and close or restrict dance floors.
Once the plan is approved by the county, bars may open with indoor occupancy limited to 50%, must stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m. and must provide safety protocols in outdoor areas.
Business owners wishing to complete an Open Safe Plan can find an electronic copy on the Comal County website or email questions to email@example.com.