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Florida and Texas close bars and scale back reopening, after spike in Covid-19 cases

Florida and Texas close bars and scale back reopening, after spike in Covid-19 cases
The US states of Texas and Florida are shutting down bars and taking other measures to combat major rises in coronavirus infections, following their recent “reopening” after lockdown.

Florida set a one-day record for new cases on Friday, reporting 8,942 fresh infections, according to the state’s department of health. The previous record was 5,508, which had been set only two days prior. 

The spike in numbers has led to an announcement that, despite the state having previously endorsed the reopening of bars, on-site alcohol consumption will now be banned. Confirmation of the move was made by Halsey Beshears, the secretary of the agency that regulates Florida’s bars.

The state was set to continue a phased return to pre-lockdown conditions, with the next step due to include large venues such as arenas and concert halls getting back to business. That plan is on pause at the moment, said Governor Ron DeSantis. 

Texas has taken a similar path and reimposed restrictions, with Governor Greg Abbott announcing that his state’s reopening will be scaled back after a “massive outbreak” of coronavirus cases. 

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“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” the governor said, as he mandated the state’s bars to close. Texas has reported around 17,000 new cases of coronavirus in the past three days alone. 

Gatherings of more than 100 people in the state now need official approval, and rafting and tubing businesses have also been told to shut down their operations for the time being. 

Texas set a record for new daily infections on Thursday, with nearly 6,000 cases being reported. 

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