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Texas GOP Gov. Abbott letting restaurants deliver alcohol with food orders to boost sales amid coronavirus social distancing

'The State of Texas is committed to supporting retailers, restaurants, and their employees'

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images (L); Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Hwood Group (R)

With the restaurant industry hitting a sudden, staggering slump due to closure orders stemming from coronavirus social distancing, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott offered a statewide reprieve that just may be what the doctor ordered.

What are the details?

Abbott on Wednesday issued an immediate waiver letting restaurants with mixed beverage permits deliver alcoholic beverages with food purchases to customers, including beer, wine, and mixed drinks.

The governor's office said the waiver is in response to the disproportionate financial hardship COVID-19 caused within the hospitality industry.

"The State of Texas is committed to supporting retailers, restaurants, and their employees," Abbott said. "These waivers will allow restaurants to provide enhanced delivery options to consumers during this temporary period of social distancing."

Abbott also directed the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to waive certain provisions to allow alcohol manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers to repurchase or sell back unopened product from restaurants, bars, and clubs affected by event cancellations due to COVID-19.

"These next few weeks it's important to support our restaurants," Abbott tweeted Wednesday night. "They're a great source of food for Texans."

How are folks reacting?

As you might guess, commenters on Abbott's tweet raised their glasses to him — and some asked him to make the waiver permanent:

  • "So, Gov. Abbott just got re-elected for like, ever. #GodBlessTexas."
  • "This is fantastic leadership. I hope this is considered to remain after the virus passes — it [incentivizes] doing the right thing if people have had a drink at home and want some food and a beverage with it — they can have it delivered. Brilliant!"
  • "I love you Gov!"
  • "Best governor EVER!"
  • "Love you Abbott! Thank you for taking care of Texas!"
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