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Some Texas restaurants can now deliver alcohol during coronavirus closures

Governor Greg Abbott eased regulations Wednesday in an effort to support the hospitality industry

AUSTIN, Texas — Governor Greg Abbott issued a waiver Wednesday to allow restaurants in Texas to deliver beer, wine and mixed drinks while their dining rooms are closed due to the coronavirus.

According to the governor's office, the move is "in response to the financial hardship caused by COVID-19 that has disproportionately affected the hospitality industry."

While restrictions are waivied, restaurants that possess a mixed beverage permit can sell beer, wine, or mixed drinks for delivery given they are accompanied by food also purchased from the restaurant. 

"The State of Texas is committed to supporting retailers, restaurants, and their employees," said Governor Abbott. "These waivers will allow restaurants to provide enhanced delivery options to consumers during this temporary period of social distancing."

Additionally, the governor passed a buy-back waivier, which allows distributors and manufactures to purchase inventory from Texas establishments affected by cancellations and closures due to the coronavirus.

This comes hours after San Antonio became the last of the major Texas cities to order the suspension of dine-in services at restaurants. "Non-essential" businesses such as bars, lounges, nightclubs, taverns, indoor commercial amusements businesses, theaters, gyms, bingo parlors, bowling alleys must close, according to Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

That order takes effect midnight Thursday morning. In a statement sent Wednesday evening, the Texas Restaurant Association said its efforts are shifting towards helping local eateries weather the storm while their services are limited. 

As of 8 p.m. Wednesday, 95 Texans had tested positive for COVID-19, including three fatalities from the disease.


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