Leaders In Austin Put Limits On Dine-In & Drink Service At Restaurants, Bars For New Year’s – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Some drastic steps in the Texas capital where a critical situation of increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases had resulted in officials pushing new boundaries on food and beverage service in restaurants and bars.

The Austin move is being made to contain social gatherings and parties over the New Years period.

According to the order, all venues where food and drinks are served are not completely closed, but are limited to drive-through, curb, delivery or take-out from Thursday to Sunday morning every evening from 10:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. -Service.

Mayor Steve Adler said health officials want the public to avoid large social gatherings to contain the spread of the coronavirus as local and state officials grapple with record numbers of hospitalizations and new cases, even as vaccines are introduced.

“We are now facing our most dangerous prospects,” said Adler on Wednesday.

Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton, both Republicans, were quick to condemn the restrictions and tweeted that they violated previous statewide orders from the governor. The Texas Restaurant Association also called the restrictions a criminal offense for business owners.

Texas previously sued local governments for attempting tough shutdown orders.

Adler said the city’s lawyers had been consulted on the Austin order. Travis County Judge Andy Brown called it “the closest we can think of”.

Texas hit record highs of more than 11,700 COVID-19 patients in hospitals and more than 26,900 newly reported cases on Tuesday. The state has reported more than 26,000 deaths.

Abbott and state health officials have urged vaccine providers to speed up the distribution of shots. As of Tuesday, state health officials reported that more than 600,000 doses had been received but only about 163,000 had been issued.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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