Less than a day after asking Fort Bend County bars and restaurants to take drastic measures aimed at promoting social distancing, local officials are forcing them to do so.
Fort Bend County Judge KP George and Dr. Jacquelyn Johnson-Minter, the director for Fort Bend County Health & Human Services, announced expanded community guidelines Tuesday afternoon in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the upper-respiratory disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus.
George and Johnson-Minter said in a news release that they are ordering that restaurants and microbreweries, micro-distilleries or wineries only provide takeout, delivery and drive-through services beginning Wednesday. Additionally, bars, nightclubs, lounges, taverns, arcades and private clubs must close down operations within both incorporated and unincorporated parts of the county.
The order will be effective until April 1 unless otherwise noted.
“From The White House to our regional partners, we agree that this situation requires all of us, including the young and healthy, to follow and make sacrifices if our community is going to remain healthy and intact,” George said. “We must listen to the science, data, and medical experts to ensure we do all that we can to flatten the curve and spread of COVID-19.”
Fort Bend County joined Harris County and the City of Houston, which on Monday afternoon announced the same restrictions for bars and restaurants, effective Tuesday and for a period of at least 15 days. On Monday night, Fort Bend said it was recommending that bars close and restaurants stop dine-in services, but stopped short of requiring them to take those measures.