Resources & Latest News
Last Updated: July 3, 2020
During this unprecedented time, the health and well-being of our local community and our visitors is vital. Travelers to Austin – and all destinations – should continue to observe the health recommendations of national and local public health officials, as they plan to travel, when they travel, and when they are visiting any destination.
Texas Governor's Orders
The State of Texas has a phased reopening of businesses and services. The Order, issued by Governor Abbott, provides guidance for employers, employees, and customers of reopened businesses. On July 2, Gov. Abbott issued an executive order requiring every person in Texas to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household. Exceptions and additional details can be found here.
On June 26, Gov. Abbott issued an executive order limiting certain businesses and services to contain the spread of COVID-19. The order includes the following:
- All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are closed until further notice. 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% of total listed indoor occupancy.
- Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
- Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.
For more information on the Governor's orders and regulations, visit the Texas Coronavirus Resources and Response Page.
City of Austin Orders
Austin-Travis County residents are directed to continue practicing social distancing, hygiene, and face covering behaviors under City and County Orders adopted on June 15. The "Stay Home Save Lives Order" replaces the original "Stay Home-Work Safe Order." In addition to hygiene guidelines, the orders state that social gatherings up to 10 people should be avoided or minimized, and socializing in groups of 10+ individuals outside of the same household are prohibited.
In addition, a Stay Home, Mask, And Otherwise Be Safe order was issued on July 02, 2020 and a Stay Home, Mask, and Otherwise Be Safe order was issued on June 22, 2020, that includes parts of the Health & Safety for Businesses order, issued on June 17, which directs all businesses to implement a health and safety plan related to COVID-19 by June 23. The order also includes a requirement for employees and customers to wear face coverings in most circumstances. Please see the order for details.
While the County is in Stage 4 Alert, vulnerable individuals should avoid groups of more than two. Both the County Order and the City orders expire August 15.
Visit Austin is in close contact with regional public health officials and elected officials, as well as with national travel associations, and is actively communicating with you as the situation changes. The City of Austin’s Public Health department is actively involved in the response to COVID-19. For the latest information, visit www.austintexas.gov/COVID19
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Travel and Meetings Industry Resources
Does Visit Austin have a message for travelers?
Travelers to Austin – and all destinations – should continue to observe the health recommendations of national and local public health officials, as they plan to travel, when they travel, and when they are visiting any destination. Travelers to Austin should know that Visit Austin is in close contact with regional public health officials and elected officials, as well as with national travel associations, and will actively communicate with visitors if the situation changes.
Are there any closures of note for visitors to Austin, such as attractions, hotels, restaurants or meeting venues?
The State of Texas has announced a phased reopening of businesses and services. The Order, issued by Governor Abbott, provides guidance for employers, employees, and customers of reopened businesses. For more information on the Governor's orders and regulations, visit the Texas Coronavirus Resources and Response Page.
Visit Austin is working hard to maintain current information about popular attractions, museums, tours, restaurants and hotels on our website. Please check individual websites and social channels to confirm operating hours. The Austin Visitor Center is currently closed.
Public officials recommend visiting open businesses with the COVID-19 health recommendations in mind: washing your hands; refraining from touching your face; and staying home if you’re sick, among others.
What actions are being taken in Austin?
Austin Public Health is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation in coordination with the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local and regional public health and healthcare agencies. Austin Public Health's dashboard illustrates the key indicators for moving between risk stages. Austin-Travis County is currently in Level 4 – the light orange risk category.
- Stage 1 (Green): Zero (0) new COVID-19 hospital admissions in a 7-day period
- Stage 2 (Blue): Average of less than 5 new COVID-19 hospital admissions in the MSA in 7-day period
- Stage 3 (Yellow): Average of 5-19 new COVID-19 hospital admissions in the MSA in a 7-day period
- Stage 4 (Light Orange): Average of 20-70 new COVID-19 hospital admissions in the MSA in a 7-day period
- Stage 5 (Red): Average of 70 or more new COVID-19 hospital admissions in the MSA in a 7-day period
For lower-risk individuals, defined as those with no substantial underlying health conditions who have a lower risk of complication and death from COVID-19, the recommendations are as follows:
- Stage 1: Practice good hygiene, stay home if sick, and avoid other people who are sick. APH is working on recommendations for maximum sizes of gatherings. Individuals are advised they are safe to return to work at all businesses.
- Stage 2: Includes the recommendations for Stage 1 and adds: Maintain social distancing and wear fabric face coverings in public. Individuals are urged to avoid dining and shopping except with precautions, and to avoid gathering in groups of more than 25 people. They are advised they are safe to return to work at essential and reopened businesses.
- Stage 3: Includes the recommendations for Stage 2 and also urges individuals to avoid all social gatherings and any gatherings of more than 10 people.
- Stage 4: Includes the recommendations for Stage 3 and advises individuals they are safe to return to work, and dine and shop, only at “expanded essential businesses”. This category will be defined shortly.
- Stage 5: Includes the recommendations for Stage 4 and urges individuals to avoid all gatherings outside of the household and avoid dining and shopping except as essential. In this stage it is considered safe to return to work at essential businesses only.
At all times and levels, APH continues to urge the community to continue:
- Practice social distancing
- Wear fabric face coverings in public
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Wash hands often
- Avoid touching your face
- Clean commonly touched surfaces
Learn more at AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.
What do I need to know about air travel to/from Austin?
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) coordinates closely with Austin Public Health, the CDC, and other federal partners to ensure the safety and health of passengers. AUS has provided hand sanitizer stations in high-traffic areas, such as after TSA checkpoints, and signage communicating general hygiene best practices. The airport will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as necessary. Learn More
Many airlines are requiring passengers to wear masks or face coverings along their journey. For this reason, we urge all travelers to come prepared and bring your own face covering to AUS. If you arrive at the airport without a face covering, limited supplies can be purchased inside the Barbara Jordan Terminal. The Transportation Security Administration allows, but does not require, passengers to wear masks during screening. A screening officer may ask for the mask to be adjusted to confirm the passenger’s identity. For more information on U.S.-based carrier’s requirements, please contact your airline. Visit this page for links to each airline's website.
What actions is the Austin Convention Center taking to ensure the safety of its meeting attendees?
The Austin Convention Center Department (ACCD) has increased cleaning activity with the national news of the coronavirus. Visitor and employee safety is a primary concern and assuring a healthy place to convene and work is their goal. The department has placed more hand sanitizers and hand cleaning stations around the facility. ACCD has increased frequency of cleanliness for restrooms, escalators, door handles and other primary places of contact that are frequently touched. Signage has been posted encouraging visitors and staff to continue following health suggestions. ACCD is in contact with Austin Public Health who is monitoring the situation in coordination with the Texas Department of State Health Services, CDC, local and regional public health and healthcare agencies. Learn More
Where can I go with urgent questions related to COVID-19?
If you think you are sick with COVID‑19, read more here about what to do. Should you have urgent questions for Austin Public Health about coronavirus information which haven’t already been addressed online or through regional updates, please call or email their team at 512-974-2000 / firstname.lastname@example.org.