Updated: May 4, 2020
Executive Order GA-18
- Executive Order GA-18 provides a list of newly “reopened services,” which went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on May 1, 2020, and supersedes GA-16. It will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2020.
- “Reopened services” shall consist of the following to the extent they are not already “essential services:”
- Retail services that may be provided through pickup, delivery by mail, or delivery to the customer’s doorstep.
- Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 1, 2020:
- In-store retail services, for retail establishments that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the retail establishment.
- Dine-in restaurant services, for restaurants that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the restaurant; provided, however, that (a) this applies only to restaurants that have less than 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages and are therefore not required to post the 51 percent sign required by Texas law as determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and (b) valet services are prohibited except for vehicles with placards or plates for disabled parking.
- Movie theaters that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of any individual theater for any screening.
- Shopping malls that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the shopping mall; provided, however, that within shopping malls, the food-court dining areas, play areas, and interactive displays and settings must remain closed.
- Museums and libraries that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy; provided, however, that (a) local public museums and local public libraries may so operate only if permitted by the local government, and (b) any components of museums or libraries that have interactive functions or exhibits, including child play areas, must remain closed.
- For Texas counties that have filed with DSHS, and are in compliance with, the requisite attestation form promulgated by DSHS regarding five or fewer cases of COVID-19, those in-store retail services, dine-in restaurant services, movie theaters, shopping malls, and museums and libraries, as otherwise defined and limited above, may operate at up to 50 percent (as opposed to 25 percent) of the total listed occupancy.
- Services provided by an individual working alone in an office.
- Golf course operations.
- Local government operations, including county and municipal governmental operations relating to permitting, recordation, and document-filing services, as determined by the local government.
- Such additional services as may be enumerated by future executive orders or proclamations by the governor.
- The conditions and limitations set forth above for reopened services shall not apply to essential services. “Essential services” are defined in Executive Order GA-14.
- The Order clarifies that people SHALL avoid visiting bars, gyms, public swimming pools, interactive amusement venues such as bowling alleys and video arcades, massage establishments, tattoo studios, piercing studios, or cosmetology salons. The use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options for food and drinks remains allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.
Updated: April 17, 2020
Executive Orders GA-16 & GA-17
- Executive Order GA-16 established a category of “reopened services” starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020. Reopened services consists of retail services that are not “essential services” but that may be provided through pickup, mail delivery, or doorstep delivery in compliance with Texas Department of State Health Services guidance. “Essential services” are defined in Executive Order GA-14.
- Executive Order GA-17 created the “Strike Force to Open Texas” to advise the Governor restarting and revitalizing all aspects of work, school, entertainment, and culture within the State. In light of the April 30, 2020 expiration of prior Executive Order GA-14, the Strike Force is directed to provide immediate and ongoing recommendations.
Executive Order GA-14
Texas Executive Order GA-14 directs Texans to minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household except when necessary to provide or obtain essential services or activities, which are defined to include the CISA List plus other listed activities. The order is relatively nonrestrictive as it does not mandate any stay at home provisions, does not order any business closures, and allows Texans to gather for religious services in churches and houses of worship.
Summary of Order
- Executive Order GA-14 was issued on March 31, 2020 and took effect at 12:01 a.m. on April 2, 2020 and remains in effect through April 30, 2020, subject to extension.
- The order specifically requires every person in Texas to minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household, except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services.
- The order does not require any specific businesses to close.
- The order does not prohibit people from accessing essential services or engaging in essential daily activities, including:
- going to the grocery store or gas station,
- providing or obtaining other essential services,
- visiting parks, hunting or fishing, or
- engaging in physical activity like jogging or bicycling.
- “Essential services” for purposes of the order includes the following:
- Everything listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Version 2.0 of the CISA List;
- Religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship.
- Any other essential services are approved and listed online by the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) (see link above in Key Documents).
- Requests to be added to the state’s list of essential services may be emailed to TDEM or visiting its website.
- The order enumerates several public-facing businesses that are considered not to be essential services:
- Cosmetology Salons
- Massage Establishments
- Tattoo Studios
- Piercing Studios
- Eating/Drinking Inside of Bars/Restaurants/Food Courts
- “Essential daily activities” for purposes of the order include going to the grocery store or gas station, providing or obtaining other essential services, visiting parks, hunting or fishing, or engaging in physical activity like jogging or bicycling, so long as the necessary
precautions are maintained and to minimize in-person contact with people not in the same household.
- The order prohibits visits to nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance pursuant to guidance from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
Social Distancing Requirements
In providing or obtaining essential services, the order directs people and businesses to “follow the Guidelines from the President and the CDC by practicing good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation, implementing social distancing, and working from home if possible.”
Regarding religious services, if such services cannot be conducted from home or through remote services, the order indicates that they “should be conducted consistent with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC by practicing good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation, and by implementing social distancing…”
The extent to which the Texas order can be enforced is unclear given the lack of an outright ban on nonessential activity. Governor Greg Abbott also has suspended several statutes to the extent necessary “to ensure that local officials do not impose restrictions inconsistent with this executive order, provided that local officials may enforce this executive order as well as local restrictions that are consistent with this executive order.”
Critical infrastructure sectors listed in CISA guidance (check list at link above for detailed list of worker functions):
- Healthcare / Public Health
- Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and Other First Responders
- Food and Agriculture
- Energy — Natural Gas, Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), Propane, and Other Liquid Fuels
- Water and Wastewater
- Transportation and Logistics
- Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services
- Communications and Information Technology
- Other Community- or Government-Based Operations and Essential Functions
- Critical Manufacturing
- Hazardous Materials
- Financial Services
- Defense Industrial Base
- Commercial Facilities
- Residential/Shelter Facilities and Services
- Hygiene Products and Services