AUSTIN—With bars and restaurants ordered closed in the wake of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a new waiver allowing the establishments to deliver alcoholic beverages.

In a waiver issued last night, Abbott authorized restaurants to deliver alcoholic beverages with food purchases to patrons, including beer, wine, and mixed drinks. The changes are effective immediately.

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

The waiver also allows manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of alcoholic beverages to buy back unopened product—enabling a hypothetical scenario where a bar forced to close could sell its canned beer inventory back to a distributor, who could then stock the shelves at Kroger.

This action is one of many Abbott has taken in response to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic that’s seen many taken ill and dramatically altered everyday life for Texans.

Whether Abbott has the legal authority to take these actions is up for debate.

Cary Cheshire

Cary Cheshire is a political commentator and activist based in Fort Worth, Texas. His best writings typically contain 280 characters or less and can be found on Twitter @CaryCheshireTX.