DALLAS - Bars across Texas were allowed to reopen Thursday at midnight with 25 percent capacity, as part of Phase 2 of Governor Greg Abbott's new order allowing bars to open for the first time in nearly two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson raised concerns about people going out this weekend.
On a hot spring day in the Bishop Arts Neighborhood in Dallas, many were excited to get back to something that feels like normal.
“It’s our first opportunity for happy hour and just getting a little stir crazy sitting at home, so here we are,” Matt Miller said.
For the first time in months, bars opened Friday at the start of the Memorial Day weekend.
Bars can operate at 25 percent capacity indoors, and can expand capacity in outdoor areas.
Safety measures must be put in place, with social distancing for customers.
Face coverings for customers are encouraged...
“Until they figure out a way to eat or drink through a mask, there are some times we will have to take it off,” Miller added.
“In this case, we are distanced right now and I feel pretty good about the fact that this is not the type of establishment that are going to lead into many people and endanger anyone,” Michael Rareshide added.
Mayor Johnson is concerned about the reopening, especially on a holiday weekend.
“I do have concerns, but it’s because I think we've been doing so well,” he said.
He said he doesn’t want people to have a false sense of security.
“Just because you can go out, I don't think people should necessarily rush out and do things they wouldn't ordinarily do,” he said. “I just want people to understand, its Memorial Day weekend and bars are opening at 25 percent capacity, but if you have underlying condition or symptomatic, please don't go out at all, and if you go out, please wear a mask.“
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Shelly Hall said she wears a face covering when she's at the store, but not outside while enjoying a drink.
“Out in the open, on a patio, we are keeping our distance and not wearing one, and I don’t want to alarm other people, but I feel comfortable enough to not have on one right now,” Hall said.
Dallas PD officers were out patrolling Friday.
Code enforcement will also be monitoring the situation around the city.