AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – With restaurants being allowed to reopen their dining areas in Texas starting Friday, many were left wondering about the future of alcohol-to-go sales.
Gov. Greg Abbott had some optimism late Tuesday evening for those who enjoyed this type of service.
Alcohol-to-go sales were allowed during the coronavirus pandemic after nonessential businesses, including the dine-in areas of restaurants, were forced to shut down amid stay-at-home orders at the state and local levels.
Abbott said earlier this week that the statewide stay-at-home order will be expiring Thursday, paving the way the businesses to reopen their doors but at a limited capacity of 25%. This, however, left questions on what it meant for services like alcohol-to-go that were put into place specifically for dealing with the pandemic.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) confirmed that expanded to-go and delivery options, including alcohol-to-go, will able to continue for now after businesses start reopening.
While the TABC did not say when these services would stop, Abbott tweeted about the possibility of keeping alcohol-to-go as a new standard.
“Alcohol-to-go sales can continue after May 1. From what I hear from Texans, we may just let this keep on going forever,” the governor said.
Social distancing guidelines will still be in place even after the stay-at-home order expires, according to Abbott. Businesses wanting to reopen at the limited capacity on Friday will have to follow these guidelines.
Abbott said earlier this week that Friday will mark phase one of the reopening plan. If that phase goes well, Abbott said phase two could start as early as May 18, allowing for other types of businesses like barber shops, hairdressers and gyms to reopen. The capacity allowed could also be increased to 50%.