Firm News

Reopening the Economy: Part 5

By Preston W. Rose
Attorney at McGuire, Craddock & Strother, P.C.
June 26, 2020

On June 26, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott released Executive Order No. GA-28 reinstituting stricter rules for Texas businesses.[1]  This comes on the heels of the Governor’s announcement a day prior, which paused further phases of reopening and placed a ban on elective surgeries in certain counties.  For a summary of Governor Abbott’s previous guidance, please see my earlier articles: Reopening the Economy: Part 1, Reopening the Economy: Part 2, Reopening the Economy: Part 3, and Reopening the Economy: Part 4Please visit the official website for individualized “checklists” from the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas that provide additional guidance on reopening.  A summary of the changes and updates is provided below:

Updates and Changes:

    • All Texas businesses shall operate at no more than 50% of occupancy, with the following exceptions:
    • There is no occupancy limit for any services listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce (Version 3.1 or any subsequent version);[2] religious services; local government operations; child care services; youth camps; or recreational sports programs for youth and adults.

      The 50% occupancy limitation does not apply to outdoor areas, events, or establishments, except that the following outdoor areas or venues shall operate at no more than 50% occupancy: sporting events; swimming pools; water parks; museums; libraries; zoos and aquariums; natural caverns and similar facilities; and rodeos and equestrian events.

      The 50% occupancy limitation does not apply to personal care and beauty services (like hair salons, nail salons, and the other establishments listed in the Executive Order) that operate with at least 6 feet of social distancing between work stations.

    • Except for some specific exceptions, all outdoor gatherings with more than 100 people are banned, unless the mayor of the city or the county judge of the unincorporated area approves the gathering.Bars and any establishment with more than 51% of gross receipts from alcohol sales are closed effective as of 12:00 PM on June 26. But, to the extent allowed by the TABC, such establishments can operate on a drive-thru, pickup, or delivery basis.
    • Effective Monday, June 29, 2020, restaurants must return to operating at 50% indoor occupancy.

    Conclusion

    With the current rise in COVID-19 cases, Texas has been forced to put in place stricter guidelines for businesses.  In a fluid environment with constantly changing guidelines, businesses should regularly review and abide by the latest local and state guidelines. 

     

    For more information or for advice on when, whether and how a specific business may reopen, please contact Preston W. Rose at [email protected].

     

  • This correspondence should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.  The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult a lawyer concerning your own situation and legal questions.

 

[1] Executive Order No. GA-28 may be found at:
https://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/press/EO-GA-28_targeted_response_to_reopening_COVID-19.pdf.

[2] The CISA Guidance can be found at:https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Version_3.1_CISA_Guidance_on_Essential_Critical_Infrastructure_Workers_0.pdf.