Colleyville Relaxes Rules, Opens Restaurant Patios to Lines and Long Waits

Long lines formed Friday outside some restaurants

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Restaurants and other businesses were allowed to open again in Colleyville under relaxed restrictions on Friday for the first time in more than a month.

At restaurants, inside tables remained closed but patios were full of customers who had to wait an hour or longer.

"Everybody's ready,” Laura Oakley said outside Rio Mambo. “I think everyone believes the time is now."

Across town, Gloria's Latin Cuisine was packed too.

"We're still taking precautions but this is beautiful," said Bill Daley who sat at the corner table with his girlfriend and brother. "We've got our hand sanitizer in the Jeep so as soon as we sat down, went and got some, sanitized up, and after that, really haven't touched anything."

Servers and a few customers wore masks.

Colleyville is re-writing its own rules despite a county-wide order and as other cities move more slowly.

The re-openings came the same day Tarrant County announced three more deaths and 147 new coronavirus cases, the most in a single day.

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said he'd prefer everyone follow the same restrictions but won't insist on it.

"Well, it's a free country,” Whitley said. “This isn’t a police state.”

Earlier this week Gov. Greg Abbott said he believed Colleyville was following “much” of the state plan.

In Colleyville, which has 17 confirmed coronavirus cases and no deaths, some people feel comfortable relaxing social distancing rules.

"I'm healthy,” said former Colleyville city council member and unsuccessful congressional candidate Chris Putnam. “If I want to take the chance of getting infected with COVID, that's absolutely my right. And frankly, I don't know that a little exposure is going to be too bad for most healthy folks."

Colleyville also allowed other businesses to re-open under certain restrictions but cautioned business owners they may fall under other regulations outside the city's jurisdiction.

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