Late-night nightlife is gearing up to start again in the Lone Star state. Bars across Texas are beginning to prepare to reopen this Friday, May 22nd, except for a few places. Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Monday that certain counties and "COVID hotspots," for instance El Paso, would be delayed. But when we finally can reopen, the bar experience that you know and love could be a lot different in the pandemic era.

Bars will begin reopening in Texas this Friday, except for certain COVID-19 "hotspots" like El Paso. Phase two for reopening in the Sun City has been delayed a week until Friday, May 29th. The Governor said he was delaying phase 2 in El Paso due to hospital capacity in the city being "too close for comfort." This allows us to see how bars in other Texas cities will deal with the new guidelines given by the state to reopen. It seems like the world we live in has two parts- B.C., before corona and after.

The Texas Governor's Strike Force To Open Texas has released its Minimum Health Standard Protocols and it includes the checklists for all businesses to reopen safely. While going through the list, I saw a lot of new rules that I don't know how they will enforce at bars in general, let alone in El Paso bars. See below some of the new protocols your favorite watering hole will have to abide by to keep their doors open.

I am fully confident that the nightlife business in El Paso will continue, and that the owners will do everything in their power to abide by the rules and open up ASAP. Let's be honest, it isn't the same without being able to meet up with friends at your favorite happy hour or nightspot. It hasn't been the same since I can't go and see my favorite bartenders and catch up while eating some delicious tacos.

Even though we're seeing Phase 2 starting in other parts of Texas, if the cases in El Paso continue to climb we could be delayed even longer. This is the time to continue to social distance, wear face masks, and limit non-essential activities. I wouldn't be surprised to see our city being delayed again if the numbers continue to go up. To help save our local, small businesses these are the steps we need to see continuing during the COVID-19 pandemic.