Guadalupe County received approval on Wednesday from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for bars shut down in the county due to COVID-19 to reopen.
Owners/operators of bars and similar businesses who wish to begin welcoming guests again need to fill out and submit a form to county officials, said Patrick Pinder, Guadalupe County emergency management coordinator and fire marshal.
“Last week, Governor [Greg] Abbott signed Executive Order GA 32, allowing [Guadalupe County] Judge [Kyle] Kutscher to opt into bars’ reopening,” Pinder said in a statement. “Well, we have received the notification from TABC, and bars are allowed to open.”
People wishing to access the necessary form can find it online at bit.ly/3j0Z6zP .
The form — which may be filled out and submitted online — asks for the usual identifying information including name of applicant, name of business and ways to contact both. It also questions whether the business will sell food, enforce the Open Texas order and more.
Abbott shuttered Texas bars and similar businesses in the summer to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. He issued the order Oct. 7 allowing the businesses to reopen in areas with low hospitalization and other COVID-related statistics, but only if the county judge in each such area opted in to the reopening.
Abbott’s order also stipulated that strict safety measures be followed in the counties that opted in. The order and guidelines led Kutscher to meet with city leaders, business people, law enforcement personnel and more to help him decide what is best for Guadalupe County, the judge has said.
He announced at a regular Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday that he decided opting in was the way for Guadalupe County to go. He said the key to making it work is on the shoulders of those running the establishments and their visitors.
“We need to prove a point in that respect,” Kutscher said during the court meeting. “The county is willing to do whatever it has to do to support those businesses.”