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Updated 5/8/20

Stay Home–Work Safe Order Extended in Austin & Travis County

Mayor Steve Adler and Judge Sarah Eckhardt issued new stay home orders that went into effect at noon today:

  • Businesses are asked to help Austin Public Health track and trace exposures of coronavirus by keeping an activity log of all customers and employees visiting the business.
  • Maintaining an activity log is recommended for restaurant and business owners of reopened services with allowed occupancy or capacity of 75 or less.
  • Activity logs are encouraged for assisting local public health officials, as well as to avoid publicizing the names of businesses that have been exposed to the virus with relevant dates and timeframes in order to trace contacts.

Modifications to the Orders continue to:

  • Ask individuals to stay home and refrain from attending social gatherings of any size outside a single household, subject to stated exceptions.
  • Require face coverings in public, while making it clear that no civil or criminal penalty will be imposed for failure to wear one.
  • Ask individuals to practice social distancing, maintaining at least a six-foot distance from other individuals, and to wash their hands regularly with soap.

The order for the City of Austin is in effect until May 30. View the order here.

The order for Travis County will be in place until June 15. View the order here.

Phase 2 of Gov. Abbott’s Plan to Reopen Texas Businesses

The following additional businesses can still reopen today as part of reopening the statewide economy:

  • Barbershops
  • Hair salon
  • Nail salon
  • Tanning salons
  • Swimming pools

All businesses will continue to reopen under the 25% capacity mandate.

Specific Requirements for Barbershops & Salons

  • Barbershops & salons can only see customers by appointment
  • Work stations must be 6 feet apart
  • Face masks are strongly encouraged

Customers are asked to leave other household members at home, including children, if possible.

Customers should only enter businesses at their appointment time.

The Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) will monitor park capacity

Beginning today, safety measures will be introduced to manage attendance at Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park, and Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park.

  • Once capacity is reached at these parks, signage will indicate no additional vehicles will be admitted. Staff will be on-site to educate park patrons and inform them of closures.
  • Starting Thursday, May 14, day passes or reservations are required in order to enter the three parks every Thursday to Sunday. A limited number of passes will be available per day. No registration is required Monday through Wednesday.

The Animal Services Office (ASO) will begin offering adoption of dogs to the general public with appointment-only curbside meet and greets at the Austin Animal Center, beginning Friday, May 8.

City operations remain on modified work schedules until May 29.

More information on City Operations Modifications


Clarification & Updates on Current Public Health Orders

The City of Austin’s stay home order has been extended through May 31. Governor Abbott’s April 17 Executive Order GA-18 modifies the City of Austin’s Stay Home, Work Safe order in two ways:

1. It identifies additional businesses and services that people may leave their homes to access (reopened businesses).
2. It provides that a city may not impose a civil or criminal penalty for violations of the face-covering requirement.

Current city, county, and state orders require individuals to stay at home unless providing or accessing essential businesses or activities or reopened services.

The City requires, to the extent feasible, that all persons maintain a 6-foot distance from others and use face coverings when engaging in essential daily activities and performing or obtaining essential and reopened services.


Today, Governor Abbott announced the next steps in plans to reopen Texas businesses. The statewide stay-at-home order expires this Thursday, April 30. Beginning Friday, May 1, retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls can reopen and operate at 25% capacity. Museums and libraries will also be allowed to open at 25% capacity, but hands-on exhibits must remain closed. This order supersedes local orders prohibiting these types of businesses to open. But the reopenings are optional. Businesses can choose to remain closed.

Review the full report here.

Click here to watch today’s press conference.

Abbott eases coronavirus rules: Retail, restaurants, movies to reopen in Texas Friday (Statesman)

Gov. Abbott Says Businesses Can Reopen In Phases, Starting Friday (KUT)



In a press conference held April 17, Gov. Abbott announced the following:

  • All Texas schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • Texas State Parks will reopen Monday with face masks and social distancing requirements.
  • Starting next Friday, retail stores will be able to reopen for to-go only, allowing shoppers to buy online and pick up without going inside of the store.

Watch the full press conference here.

Gov. Abbott to reveal plans to reopen Texas economy (KXAN)

Gov. Greg Abbott keeps Texas classrooms closed for remainder of school year (Texas Tribune)

Get the latest statewide news from the Texas Tribune.

Austin/ Travis County
Stay Home–Work Safe Order has been extended through May 8 and requires the public to wear fabric face coverings when conducting essential activities or work.
View more details on the new requirements.
See instructions for 3 DIY face coverings you can make at home.

Austin parks and trails are currently open, but visitors should expect new changes to be implemented to increase social distancing. View more details on new park guidelines.

Austin Transportation has closed portions of Riverside Drive from Lee Barton Dr. to South 1st St. and one southbound lane of the section of Pleasant Valley Rd. to motor vehicle traffic and opened the space for walking and bicycling. More info about closures here.

APH Rolls Out New Assessment and Testing App which will allow residents of Austin-Travis County to complete an online assessment to determine their eligibility for a COVID-19 test.

Current COVID-19 Orders & Restrictions 

Extended Stay Home Order Information

The Order Prohibits:

  • Non-essential businesses and non-essential activities including social gatherings regardless of the number of people together
  • Indoor/outdoor on-site restaurant dining
  • Visiting bars, entertainment venues, or gyms and fitness centers

The Order Allows:
Essential activities, with the proper safety requirements, including:

  • Going to the Grocery Store
  • Trips to the Pharmacy
  • Picking Up Takeout from Restaurants
  • Receiving Medical Care
  • Taking Your Pet for a Walk

Examples of Essential Activities include:

  • Health and safety: obtaining healthcare, emergency services, medical supplies, or medications
  • Necessary supplies and services: obtaining groceries and prepared take-out food, liquor stores, pet food, and supplies necessary for staying at home
  • Outdoor activity and exercise: engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, biking or running provided that individuals maintain at least six feet of social distancing
  • Essential work and services: performing work at an essential business, which includes all services needed to ensure the continuing operation of critical infrastructure to maintain the health, safety and welfare of the public
  • Care for others: caring for a family member, the elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons in another household

Face Covering Information

Wearing a face covering should not be used as a substitute for social distancing and frequent hand washing. All individuals over the age of ten must wear some form of covering over their nose and mouth, such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana or handkerchief. Parents and guardians of children under 10 shall be responsible for appropriately masking children when outside their residence

How to Make Face Coverings at Home:

Tutorials for Three Mask Designs from Austin Public Health
The CDC’s Video on How to Make Your Own Face Covering
More Recommendations for Cloth Face Covers from the CDC

When Face Coverings are Required:

  • Entering into or inside of any building open to the public
  • Using public transportation, taxis, or ride shares
  • Pumping gas
  • Outside and six feet of social distancing cannot be consistently maintained between the person and individuals outside of their household

When Face Coverings are Not Required:

  • Riding in a personal vehicle
  • Alone in a separate single space
  • In the presence only of other members of their household or residence
  • Doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety or security risk such as anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance

New Changes to Park & Trail Guidelines

To increase social distancing at Austin parks and trails, visitors should expect:

  • Decreased parking access to all downtown, district and neighborhood parks
  • Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail will be converted to one way in addition to decreased parking access
  • PARD facilities will remain closed to the public

More Details


PARD Facility Closures Include:

  • All Museums, Senior Centers, Recreation Centers, Cultural Centers, Special Event facilities, and Aquatic Facilities.
  • All Playgrounds, Tennis Centers, and Park Amenities including, but not limited to, recreational courts, parks and courses, exercise equipment and pavilions. Additionally, golf operations are modified – more details.
  • All Community Gardens, Zilker Botanical Garden, and Zilker Caretaker House.
  • Old Bakery & Emporium, Emma Long Metropolitan Park Campsites, Boat ramps at Emma Long Metropolitan Park and Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park.

See all closure information on PARD’s website

Downtown Ambassadors

Our Downtown Ambassadors are hard at work to keep downtown clean and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with increased cleaning efforts, they are setting up handwashing stations, practicing social distancing, and sharing information on good hygiene practices. Watch this video to see them in action.

Contact the ambassadors at (512) 937-7422 for safety escorts, graffiti removal and more. Click here for a full list of their services.

If you have additional information that would be helpful to the downtown community, please email us at

Community Resources & Information

Resources for Individuals, Families & Businesses During COVID-19

Learn More

Essentials: Food, Transportation & Services during COVID-19

Learn More

How You Can Help: Giving Back During COVID-19

Learn More

Ideas for Staying Active & Connected

Learn More

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