Reopening Granted: Judge allows bars in Cameron County to open at 50 percent

Southwinds Lounge in Brownsville officially reopen their bar doors after a two-month shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a press conference Friday morning, Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. issued the sixth amended emergency management order which allows all bars and similar establishments to open up to 50 percent capacity, in accordance with Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders.

The order took effect immediately.

“We want to see what happens with regards to the reopening of the remaining bars. Most of these bars that have been closed this entire time as a result of the pandemic, have not reopened as a result of so many exceptions that the state has allowed,” Trevino said.

“I’ve received a lot of emails and text messages from individuals, a great majority of them in support of it, so we are going to give this a chance; we are going to give them an opportunity.

“Clearly the concerns that we have need to be addressed and everyone of them said they will follow the restrictions and guidelines that we are going to give them.”

Trevino said all patrons at bars must minimize the removal of facial covering only to when they are actually eating or drinking, all bars and similar establishments and their patrons must adhere to the 11 p.m. closure and that in the event of documented infections at bars and similar establishments, or an increase of rates of cases of infections, this provision may be revoked.

“The curfew continues to remain in place. We’ve been made aware that some businesses for whatever reason seem to think that they can stay open past 12. I’ve spoken to mayors and law enforcement and reminded everyone that what has gotten us to this point is being able to make those sacrifices so as we return to normal soon,” he said.

Trevino said those who are “out and about” after midnight and are not working, are in violation of the curfew. The amended emergency management order states that unless seeking emergency assistance or engaged in essential travel/activities, no persons may be outside their residence between the hours of 12 a.m. through 5 a.m.

“The only people who should be getting food after 12 and before 5 a.m. should be those essential workers that are working during that time frame,” he said.

Trevino also reminded the public that cases in Texas have remained steady and he wants that to continue, especially here in Cameron County.

Hoping to avoid the next wave of cases due to the upcoming Halloween festivities, Trevino said no door-to-door activities are allowed.

“One of the other upcoming events we had to restrict is Halloween. I previously commented we are not allowing door-to-door trick or treating, no direct handling of treats and no groups of more than 10 members are allowed to congregate indoors and outdoors unless they wear facial covering and maintain social distancing,” he said.

“No parties of 10 or more indoor or outdoor are allowed unless they are wearing their facial covering and maintain social distance.”

As of Friday afternoon, Cameron County had reported a total of 23,662 COVID-19 cases, 21,340 recovered and 1,063 deceased.

For more information, visit or call the Cameron County Coronavirus Hotline at (956) 247-3650.