Texas governor orders schools closed and bans dine-in eating

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered schools closed statewide Thursday until at least April 3 and a ban on dine-in eating and gathering in groups of more than 10 as the state ramps up efforts to battle the coronavirus.

Until the announcement, Abbott had left most of those decisions to local governments.

Abbott's order also will shut down gyms and bars. Business closures take effect at 11:59 p.m. Friday, according to the governor's office.

The governor said his order ensures Texas is following guidance provided by the federal government.

Schools were instructed to develop education plans.

The governor said it is not an order for Texans to shelter in place and does not restrict domestic travel, though he encouraged people to use drive-thru options at restaurants and other businesses to avoid being in large groups.

Texans are still allowed to go in public, go to the grocery store and to work although Abbott encouraged companies to allow workers to work from home if possible.

Government will remain open.

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