Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough has ordered all island amusement parks, museums and bars closed and is limiting all restaurants to take-out or delivery only until further notice.

The declaration closes popular tourist attractions such Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier and Moody Gardens on an island that typically attracts 7.2 million people annually, while restaurants must make the shift to take-out and delivery. 

This order applies only to the city of Galveston, not to the county. 

The order is effective for city of Galveston bars and attractions at 4 p.m. today and for restaurants 5 a.m. Wednesday, according to a city statement. Hotel restaurants will be able to serve guests only, according to the statement. 

The announcement came just after Galveston County announced a second presumptive positive case of coronavirus, a man aged 45 to 50 years old, according to Galveston County Health District. 

The man had not recently traveled or come into contact with another person already known to be infected, suggesting the first sign of community spread in the county, according to the health district. 

In Harris County, Judge Lina Hidalgo yesterday ordered all bars and restaurants to close or shift to to-go and delivery only for 15 days starting today. 

With schools, bars, restaurants and events closed in Houston, Galveston doesn’t need causal visitors coming to the island right now, Yarbrough said.

“Playtime is over,” Yarbrough said.

The city needs to consider public safety and recommendations for smaller group sizes, he said. President Donald Trump on Monday recommended ceasing gatherings of more than 10 people. 

“We want to send a message that we’re trying to protect our people,” Yarbrough said.

Bars can only sell alcohol for off-premise consumption in Texas if the bar also has a full restaurant, if the customer orders that alcohol with food for delivery and if the alcohol is in its sealed, manufacturers container, said a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission spokesman. 

Keri Heath: 409-683-5241; or on Twitter @HeathKeri. 


Recommended for you

(13) comments

Kitty Allen

Thank you, Mayor!

Charlotte O'rourke

👍 I agree with Kitty. Thanks Mayor, for making the tough calls.

Harvey Mueller

Is this on the island only or does it extend county wide?

michaelsmith Staff
Michael A. Smith

It's only Galveston at this point.

Harvey Mueller

I think you're saying city of Galveston and does not cover Galveston County.

KevinMCox Staff
Kevin M. Cox

Harvey, yes, that is correct at this point in time.

Lou Birdsong

Thank you Mayor for making what some might consider an unpopular decision. It's reassuring to see an elected official with the cajones to do what's good for the health and safety of his constituents. Hopefully those at the county level will grow a pair and follow suit.

Michael Byrd


Michael Byrd

Thanks Mr. Mayor. Tough call but the right one.

Bailey Jones

[thumbup] If it has to be done, better now than later.

Michael Byrd


William McLain

Within the past hour, I drove down Seawall from 29th Street to 19th Street, and then up The Strand from 19th to 25th, and it appeared that a lot of bars and restaurants either didn’t get the message about the 4:00 p.m. closing time, or they are choosing to disregard the order. Totally uncool on many levels. I am truly saddened by what I witnessed.

William McLain

I should have left out the restaurants for now. They still have until 5:00 a.m. tomorrow. But I’m still sad about all of this.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.