Abbott Expands Capacity of Churches, Salons, and More


AUSTIN, TX -- On Thursday Gov. Abbott expanded capacity for a variety of establishments. At this time occupancy limits remain contingent on the rate of hospitalizations and positivity rates. 

The capacity limits will remain in place until the Trauma Service Area of that region has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients account for less than 15 percent of total hosptilizations. 

The following changes will officially go into effect on 12:01 a.m. on September 21, 2020. 

According to the proclamation "every business establishment in Texas shall operate at no more than 50 percent of the total listed occupancy of the establishment" unless they meet one of the following requirements. 

There is no occupancy limit for the following

  • services listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
  • religious services, including those conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship
  • local government operations, including county and municipal governmental operations relating to licensing (including marriage licenses), permitting, recordation, and document-filing services, as determined by the local government
  • child-care services
  • youth camps and including all summer camps and other daytime and overnight camps for youths
  • recreational sports programs for youths and adults
  • public, private schools, and any public or private institutions of higher education
  • drive-in concerts, movies, or similar events  that generally require spectators to remain in their vehicles, and that minimize in-person contact between people who are not in the same household or vehicle.

Following business establishments may operate at up to 75 percent of the total listed occupancy of the establishment

  • in-store and retail establishments
  • dine-in restaurants
  • office buildings
  • manufacturers
  • museums and libraries
  •  gyms and exercise facilities and classes

This 50 percent occupancy limit does not apply to outdoor areas, events, or establishments, except that the outdoor areas or outdoor venues shall operate at no more than the percentage of normal operating limits.

There is no occupancy limit for the following establishments that operate with at least six feet of social distancing between work stations

  • cosmetology salons, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons/shops, and other establishments where licensed cosmetologists or barbers practice their trade
  • massage establishments and other facilities where licensed massage therapists or other persons licensed or otherwise authorized to practice under Chapter 455 of the Texas Occupations Code practice their trade
  • other personal-care and beauty services such as tanning salons, tattoo studios, piercing studios, hair removal services, and hair loss treatment and growth services.

Amusement parks shall operate at no more than 50 percent of the normal operating limits as determined by the owner.

Outdoor gathering in excess of 10 people is prohibited unless the mayor of the city or the county judge approves of the gathering. The approval can be made subject to certain conditions or restrictions not inconsistent with this executive order.

Only restaurants that have less than 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages, and whose customers eat or drink only while seated, may offer dine-in services.

People shall not visit bars or similar establishments that hold a permit from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) and are not restaurants. However the use by such bars or similar establishments of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options for food and drinks is allowed to the extent authorized by TABC.

People shall not use commercial rafting or tubing services, including rental of rafts or tubes and transportation of people for the purpose of rafting or tubing.

Facilities with retractable roofs are considered indoor facilities, whether the roof is opened or closed.

Staff members are not included in determining operating levels, except for manufacturing services and office workers.

People shall not be in groups larger than 10 and shall maintain six feet of social distancing from those not in their group.

People over the age of 65 are strongly encouraged to stay at home as much as possible

  • They are asked to maintain appropriate distance from any member of the household who has been out of the residence in the previous 14 days
  • If leaving the home they are encouraged to implement social distancing and to practice good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation.

In providing or obtaining services, every person (including individuals, businesses, and other legal entities) should use good-faith efforts and available resources to follow the minimum standard health protocols recommended by DSHS.

People may visit

  • nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities as determined through guidance from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).
  • Nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities should follow infection control policies and practices set forth by HHSC, including minimizing the movement of staff between facilities whenever possible; and

Public schools may operate as provided by, and under the minimum standard health protocols found in, guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Private schools and institutions of higher education are encouraged to establish similar standards. 


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