Open Texas FAQs

For Open Texas information updated to reflect most recent Governor’s announcements go HERE. 

Need further clarification on what businesses are or are not on the above list? Go HERE.  

See May 18th Executive Order HERE.

See May 5th Executive Order, EO-GA-21 HERE. 

On May 5th, 2020 Governor Abbott announced he was expanding businesses openings, see press release HERE.

On 4/27/2020, Governor Abbott signed  Executive Order, GA-18, that eases certain restrictions and reopens certain businesses effective May 1, 2020.  He also released a Report to Open Texas, that provides requirements for businesses allowed to reopen.

COVID-19 can be spread to others by infected persons even before they show any symptoms. That is why we must remain cautious — to avoid further spread or a new outbreak.

As we begin to open Texas, ALL Texans must continue to minimize social gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not in the same household, except when necessary to provide or obtain essential or reopened services.  In addition to practicing social distancing, We should all continue to follow the following recommendations:

  • Stay home if you can.
  • Wash hands often and for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, doorknobs, and other places touched often.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Use a simple cloth face coverings in public to help slow the spread of the virus.

FAQs about the Governor’s new order:

What are "Reopened Services?"

Certain businesses have been allowed to reopen.  These businesses include:

  • In-store retail services operating up to a maximum 25% of the total listed occupancy.
  • Dine-in restaurant services up to a maximum 25% of the total listed occupancy.  (Does not apply to restaurants that must display a 51% sign required by the TABC)
  • Movie Theaters operating up to a maximum 25% of the total listed occupancy. 
  • Shopping Malls operating up to a maximum 25% of the total listed occupancy.
  • Museums and Libraries operating up to a maximum 25% of the total listed occupancy.
  • Services provided by an individual working alone in an office.
  • Golf course operations and non-contact sports and outdoor activities with no more than 4 people in a group.
  • Church and religious services.

In addition to the limitations listed, each reopened business must follow DSHS guidelines.  We have provided those guidelines on the Business Checklists page.   

When can a reopened business open?

The Governor’s changes go into effect at 12:01 AM on Friday, May 1st.  That means that this Friday, listed businesses may reopen with the limitations and standards provided.

Did the Governor remove the limitation on public gatherings?

No!  The Governor’s Executive Order GA-18 outlines steps to "Open Texas" but still directs every person in Texas to "except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services or reopened services, minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same the same household."

Did the Governor reopen hair and nail salons?

No!  Hair and nail salons, gyms, tattoo parlors and massage parlors, bowling alleys and entertainment venues remain closed. 

When will other businesses be allowed to open and/or other restrictions be lifted?

The Governor’s new order will go through May 18th.  At that time, the Governor and the Open Texas Task force will make decisions, based on data, what next steps will be taken.  The governor indicated that if the trend remains positive, that capacity at reopened businesses could be increased to 50% and gyms, hair and nail salons and other businesses could be allowed to reopen.

Stay home options-01

Are we in "lock-down"?

Governor Abbot issued an initial state-wide order and then on April 27th, issued an additional order through may 15th to minimize in-person contact and social gatherings.  Our priority remains the safety and well being of our community and this includes following all State and Federal guidelines and orders. 

Are you essential?

Check the approved lists to find out! Governor Abbott’s order states "essential services shall consist of everything listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Version 2.0, plus religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship. Other essential services may be added to the list with the approval of the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM). TDEM shall maintain an online list of essential services, as specified in this executive order and in any approved additions." 

  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Version 2.0: HERE
  • TDEM online list of essential services HERE.

That is still confusing, can I leave my house or not?

Yes. The order is is intended to "achieve the goals established by the President to reduce the spread of COVID-19" and states "every person in Texas shall, except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services or reopened services, minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household."  

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, and food establishments (that provide drive-up and take-out options) will remain open. 
  • In-store retail services operating up to a maximum 25% of the total listed occupancy.
  • Dine-in restaurant services up to a maximum 25% of the total listed occupancy.  (Does not apply to restaurants that must display a 51% sign required by the TABC)
  • Movie Theaters operating up to a maximum 25% of the total listed occupancy. 
  • Shopping Malls operating up to a maximum 25% of the total listed occupancy.
  • Museums and Libraries operating up to a maximum 25% of the total listed occupancy.
  • Services provided by an individual working alone in an office.
  • Golf course operations and non-contact sports and outdoor activities with no more than 4 people in a group.
  • Church and religious services with social distancing provisions.

What if I have to travel to another community to take care of someone? 

Providing care is considered an essential activity, as is going to get food or supplies. You can not be "punished" for doing anything considered an "essential daily activity." In any activity it is important to adhere to social distancing guidelines in place to minimize in-person contact with those not in your household.


How do these orders effect divorced parents and guardians with court custody agreements?

Custody agreements are court orders and the City can not interpret or provide legal advice on such matters. We would suggest you ask your lawyer or call the office of the Court that issued the order. Since the Governors order specifically references persons in household it is best to contact your lawyer regarding how the order effects existing court orders in place for custody. 

How does this effect City services?

The City is considered an essential business and we are complying with social distancing guidelines to help ensure "continuity of service" by closing doors of City facilities to the public. Services will still be continued via alternate methods, see our online options and phone numbers HERE.  The Drive-up window at City Hall remains open and can be used to request many services.

Continuity of service ensures we remain operational and able to provide essential City services throughout the entirety of this worldwide pandemic. This is partly done by protecting our limited City personnel that are able to perform skill-specific operations. The City’s priority remains the safety and wellness of our community and this includes following all State and Federal guidelines. 

If one or more of our employees were to contract the virus it is recommended from both State and Federal services that they enter a period of quarantine for no less than 14 days. Many of our employees are so essential that a 14 day quarantine would severely impact the delivery of City services, such as police and fire protection, trash pickup, water and wastewater services and more so these actions are necessary to ensure these services continue uninterrupted. We strive to ensure our employees remain as safe as possible for the benefit of both our citizens and our employees.