Over the past several months, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has announced a series of ongoing Executive Orders in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.
On Oct. 7, 2020, Gov. Abbott announced the opening of bars and similar establishments to 50% capacity in regions with low COVID19 hospitalizations, effective Oct. 14. On that day, County Judges can opt their county into these openings provided they assist in enforcing health protocols.
Additionally, businesses like amusement parks, movie theaters, zoos, aquariums, and bowling alleys can expand to 75% capacity in counties with low COVID19 hospitalizations, also beginning Oct. 14. Gov. Abbott recorded a video message to announce the new openings.
On Sept. 17, 2020, in response to new cases and hospitalizations being cut 2/3 from a peak in late July, Gov. Abbott issued a proclamation announcing Executive Order GA-30, which amends previous executive orders to increase the maximum capacity for the following business categories to 75%, effective Monday, Sept. 21:
- Retail establishments;
- Dine-in restaurants, as defined in the proclamation;
- Office buildings;
- Museums and libraries; and,
- Gyms, exercise facilities and classes.
Per GA-31, hospitals may resume elective procedures as normal, effective immediately.
Bars, however, remain closed until further notice. Starting Thursday, Sept. 24, people may visit nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities as determined through guidance from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Read the release on the Governor’s website.
On July 2, 2020, Gov. Abbott issued GA-29, effective at 12:01 p.m. July 3, 2020, which requires "all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions. The Governor also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people, and making it mandatory that, with certain exceptions, people cannot be in groups larger than ten and must maintain six feet of social distancing from others."
The full news release is available on the Governor’s website.
Due to the state’s growing positivity rate, Gov. Abbott issued GA-28 on June 26, 2020, which included the following:
- All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51-percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at noon June 26, 2020. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
- Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50-percent of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday, June 29, 2020.
- Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
- Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.
On June 25, Gov. Abbott announced a temporary pause of additional reopening phases. Also on June 25, Gov. Abbott issued GA-27, which includes new restrictions on elective medical procedures in select counties.
Previously, GA-26, issued June 3, included the following:
- Residents should not be in groups larger than 10 and should maintain 6-feet of social distancing from those not in their group.
- People over the age of 65 are strongly encouraged to stay at home as much as possible; to maintain appropriate distance from any member of the household who has been out of the residence in the previous 14 days; and, if leaving the home, to implement social distancing and to practice good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation.
- In providing or obtaining services, every person (including individuals, businesses, and other legal entities) should use good-faith efforts and available resources to follow the minimum standard health protocols recommended by DSHS. Nothing in this executive order or the DSHS minimum standards precludes requiring a customer to follow additional hygiene measures when obtaining services. Individuals are encouraged to wear appropriate face coverings, but no jurisdiction can impose a civil or criminal penalty for failure to wear a face covering.
- People shall not visit nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities unless as determined through guidance from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).
For more details and specific information for your business, visit the Governor’s Strike Force to Reopen Texas website.