Local COVID-19 Guidelines for Restaurants and Gyms – Austin, Texas

There is some confusion surrounding COVID-19 guidelines in Austin. Here are some answers to the most common questions to help clear up some confusion.

Q: What is Austin’s reopening plan?

Most businesses are open in Texas and the city of Austin. However, many have restrictions in place to reduce the spread of the virus. City officials encourage all residents and visitors to maintain a safe distance from other people and wear a mask in most circumstances. Austin-Travis County is in Stage 3.

Q: Is it mandatory to wear a mask in Austin during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The city requires that all residents and visitors wear face coverings when leaving their homes or hotels. Exceptions to the mask requirements include persons 10 or younger, and people with related medical conditions. Restaurant patrons aren’t required to wear a mask while eating or drinking indoors and out or seated in a dining establishment. You can skip the mask while exercising outdoors while maintaining safe distances from other people. Additionally, all citizens and visitors must remove their masks when required for security.

Q: Are restaurants open in Austin?

Yes. You can dine in or out in Austin. Eating establishments are open with a 75% capacity. The businesses are still required to enforce social distancing and mask orders. Locations that only sell alcohol are still closed in Austin. Some restaurants are taking precautions by using disinfection services to help stay open keep the community safe.

Q: Are gyms open in Austin?

Yes! Gyms are allowed to operate at 75% capacity. Members and employees must wear masks while exercising indoors in areas where social distancing isn’t possible. Many gyms in the area post if they are using a COVID cleaning service to inform their patrons.

Q: What businesses and services are open in Austin?

The only businesses that are not permitted to operate in Austin and Travis County are bars that don’t sell food. While business don’t have to use disinfection services, it is encouraged.

Q: What does Austin define as “essential business” during COVID?

Many businesses and services are deemed essential in Austin. A partial list includes:

  • Grocery stores
  • Farmers’ markets
  • Child care facilities
  • Gas stations
  • Auto repair stations
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Medical and dental services
  • Educational institutions
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Non-medical care for others
  • Transportation services
  • Hardware stores
  • HVAC services

People in these industries shouldn’t experience any restrictions. Essential workers are still expected to wear a face covering and maintain safe distances from other employees and customers. While not mandatory, many of these essential businesses are using COVID cleaning services like electrostatic disinfection services to keep safe.

Q: Are large gatherings allowed in Austin?

The city is restricting social gatherings in Austin by the stage of community transmission. At Stage 3, people are allowed to have gatherings of up to 25 people. Officials are urging residents to limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people. However, the governor has listed several events, locations, and activities exempt from all county regulations, regardless of transmission rates:

  • Religious services
  • Local government operations
  • Homeland Security services
  • Youth camps
  • Recreational sports programs for youth and adults
  • Childcare services
  • Professional and collegiate sports
  • Amusement and water parks
  • Rodeos and equestrian events
  • Libraries
  • Swimming pools



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