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Texas occupancy guidelines for events and businesses

Posted Aug. 17, 2020

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Last month, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people and making it mandatory that, with certain exceptions, people cannot be in groups larger than 10 and must maintain 6 feet of social distancing from others.

View the governor’s executive order.

“Large gatherings are a clear contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases,” Abbott said. “Restricting the size of group gatherings will strengthen Texas’ ability to corral this virus and keep Texans safe.”

An overview of the governor’s guidelines:

Outdoor gatherings

  • Limited to 10 people.
  • Excludes youth and adult recreational sports. See Sporting Events and Recreational Facilities section below for additional exclusions.
  • Face coverings are required unless consuming food or drink or attending a religious gathering.

Indoor events

  • Limited to 50% of the establishment’s normal capacity under the certificate of occupancy.
  • Event organizers should follow reopening protocols.
  • Excludes religious gatherings.

Bars

  • Closed on June 26 by Gov. Greg Abbott under Executive Order GA-28.
  • Bars can sell mixed drinks on premises to-go.

Restaurants

  • Limited to 50% of the establishment’s normal capacity under the restaurant’s certificate of occupancy.
  • There is no occupancy limit for outdoor dining areas, but each group of diners may not be larger than 10 people.

Sporting events and recreational facilities

  • Limited to 50% occupancy at professional, collegiate or similar sporting events; swimming pools; water parks; museums and libraries; zoos, aquariums, natural caverns and amusement parks.

Other businesses

  • Maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing between workstations at cosmetology salons, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons/shops, barbers, massage establishments; personal-care and beauty services such as tanning salons, tattoo studios, piercing studios, hair removal services and hair loss treatment and growth services.

Religious services

  • All religious services are exempt by the governor from mask mandates and occupancy limits.

There is no occupancy limit for child care, religious services or youth camps.

View fliers on occupancy limits in English and Spanish.

If Texans commit to wearing face coverings in public spaces and follow the recommended health and safety practices, the spread of COVID-19 can be slowed and Texas can remain open for business.

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