Updated March 2, 2021
March 2, 2021 update: Governor Issues GA-34
Full opening of Texas businesses; repeal of statewide mask mandate:
GA-34 takes effect at 12:01 am on March 10, 2021.
On March 2, 2021, Governor Abbott issued a new emergency order affecting the opening of Texas. The March 2nd order, GA-34, available here, provides:
1. A full opening of Texas businesses, without capacity limitations, except in areas of Texas where COVID-19 hospitalization cases exceed 15 percent of the area’s hospital census (more on this below). This includes indoor and outdoor events.
2. Removes the statewide mask mandate.
3. Local government officials may not issue orders mandating masks unless the 15 percent hospitalization threshold is reached.
4. Prohibits a local government official from issuing orders restricting business capacity, unless the 15 percent hospitalization threshold is reached.
Areas of Texas where COVID-19 hospitalization cases exceed 15 percent of the area’s hospital census:
Under GA-34, in areas of Texas where COVID-19 hospitalization cases exceed 15 percent of the area’s hospital census, a county judge may issue a local emergency order restricting meeting space, restaurants, bars, retail areas, pools, and gym capacity to 50 percent maximum occupancy.
Additionally, a county judge in areas of high hospitalization may require individuals to wear a face covering, but the county may not impose a penalty for failure to do so.
Hotel business best practices and safety guidance
GA-34 allows businesses, including hotels, to enact and enforce its own policies related to mitigating COVID-19.
THLA strongly suggests following the national Safe Stay protocols, reviewed by the CDC and created in consultation with leading hotel safety and security experts. This includes face coverings and social distancing. The Safe Stay protocols are available here.