‘Unacceptable’: Texas bars advocate slams governor’s decision following new guidelines

‘Unacceptable’: Texas bars advocate slams governor’s decision following new guidelines
(Source: Texas Governor's Office)

TEXAS (KLTV) - The founder and President of the Texas Bar and Nightlife Association (TBNA) released a statement decrying new opening guidelines outlined by Gov. Greg Abbott Thursday.

In the statement, Michael Klein said, “Governor Abbott’s actions today are unacceptable. At his hand alone, bar owners are having their livelihoods destroyed and are losing everything without being given a chance at reopening in a safe and responsible manner. By his own admission, different regions of the state should be treated differently based on their current battle against COVID-19, yet bars are shut down everywhere regardless of the local data.”

Klein said the guidelines are hurting smaller, neighborhood bars the most.

“It is absolutely ridiculous that a bar that serves ‘enough’ food is now allowed to open to 75% capacity, but regular neighborhood bars without the means to obtain new government permits or offer food items cannot open their doors at all.”

Klein continued, “For months, we’ve been told that Anti-Business Abbott needs to see sustained positivity rates below 10% and improvements on hospitalizations for bars to be given a chance at reopening. Texas delivered. But he has not acted on this promise and it is a death sentence for thousands of small businesses. We have yet to receive any feedback from the state on the TBNA industry-supported plan for reopening all bars immediately. Our alliance has worked tirelessly to come up with a plan to reopen our businesses and keep our customers safe, which is more stringent than what is required for retail and food service that now are at 75% capacity indoors. Despite our best efforts and intentions, we have not received a path forward and there appears to be no end in sight. The unilateral decision today has destroyed the lives of generations of hard-working Texans.”

Gov. Abbott’s announcement Thursday said that most of the state can open to 75 percent capacity on Sept. 21, however, bars statewide were to continue to remain closed.

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