Brownsville bars to reopen at half capacity

Southwinds Lounge in Brownsville bar patrons lift their drinks as they toast to bars officially reopening Friday due to COVID-19 shutdown for two-months.

Bars will be able to reopen to half capacity and some park amenities will be able to open under the latest amendment to the City of Brownsville’s Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health.

The 15 amendment to the order was issued Friday and will be in effect until at least Dec. 1, the city announced in a press release.

The stay-at-home curfew continues as 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for person age 17 and younger, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian engaging in essential travel. The order also continues to require residents to wear facial covering or masks in public settings, and strongly encourages shelter-at-home, unless obtaining or providing essential services.

Officials said bars and similar establishments may now open at 50 percent capacity, and all patrons must only remove their masks or facial coverings only when they are eating or drinking. Bars and similar establishments must also close by 11:00 p.m.

All city parks are also open for engaging in physical activities, however, amenities such as playground sets, fitness equipment, and restrooms will remain closed.

The City will pilot the reopening of park amenities in one park per District as part of the Park and Recreation Department Reopening Plan.

People over the age of 65 and those health conditions that would make them vulnerable to COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.

“ It is not over yet, so I’m asking our community to stay vigilant, especially as we head into the holidays,” Mayor Trey Mendez said. “Continue to wear facial coverings, get tested if you have symptoms, and maintain social distancing requirements. My commitment is to keep you updated and communicate as much as possible.”

The following measures will continue to be in place through Dec. 1, unless otherwise amended:

>>Restaurants can operate at up to 75 percent capacity and are strongly encouraged to allow delivery, pickup and take-out.

>>Outdoor gatherings in excess of 100 people are prohibited, unless approved by the Mayor or the County Judge.

>>Garage sales and yard sales are not permitted, but indoor and outdoor flea markets may operate at up to 25 percent capacity.

>>Religious and worship services are strongly encouraged to be provided by video and teleconference.

>>Elective medical and surgical procedures are prohibited.

>>People may visit nursing homes and assisted living facilities with guidance with proper precautions.

>>No more than 32 seated individuals may ride a BMetro bus at one time and facial coverings are required at all times.

>>City library indoor facilities are closed, but the Library will begin Phase I of its reopening plan that will include curbside service and kids crafts on-the-go.

For more information about the City of Brownsville’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and to donate to the BTX Cares Fund, go to www.btxcares.com.