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Governor Abbott has issued executive orders to begin reopening Texas under certain parameters after having been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Details of the orders and his press releases can be found at https://gov.texas.gov/. An overview of information contained in the latest executive orders is provided below.  

According to the Governor, nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities must remain closed to visitors unless to provide critical assistance.

Open Texas Checklists

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has recommended minimum standard health protocols for all individuals, all employers and employees, as well as industry-specific. These protocols are outlined in the Open Texas Checklists:

  • Individuals (Updated May 18, 2020)
  • Special Guidance for Texans Over 65
  • All Employers and Employees
  • Churches and Places of Worship
  • Church / Worship Attendees (Updated May 18, 2020)
  • Low-COVID-19 Counties (No Revisions)
  • Movie Theaters (Updated May 18, 2020) (up to 25% of total listed occupancy, not including employees)
  • Movie Theater Customers (Updated May 18, 2020)
  • Museums and Libraries (Updated May 18, 2020) (up to 25% of total listed occupancy, not including employees)
  • Museum and Library Visitors (Updated May 18, 2020)
  • Outdoor Sports Participants
  • Parks / Beaches / Bodies of Water (Updated May 18, 2020) (swimming pools may operate up to 25% of the total listed occupancy (indoor) or operating limits (outdoor) 
    Semi-public swimming pools: Starting May 8, semi-public swimming pools, including those at apartment complexes or operated by a home/property owners’ association, may open subject to certain limitations, including operating at 25% of the total posted pool occupancy. 
    A good rule of thumb for calculating a pool’s occupancy is 1 person per 50 square feet of pool area plus 1 person per 15 square feet of deck area. For any questions related to pool occupancy limits, contact Development Services at (940) 349-8360.

  • Restaurants (Updated May 18, 2020) (up to 50% of total listed occupancy)
  • Restaurant Customers  (Updated May 18, 2020)
  • Retailers (Updated May 18, 2020) 
    Non-CISA retailers may operate up to 25% of the total listed occupancy. In addition, non-CISA retailers may operate through pickup, delivery by mail, or delivery to the customer’s doorstep.
    Shopping malls may operate at up to 25% of the total listed occupancy of the shopping mall, but shopping mall food court dining areas, play areas, and interactive displays and settings must remain closed. Employees and contractors of the retailer or shopping mall are not counted towards the 25% occupancy limitation. Any components of the establishments or facilities that have interactive functions or exhibits, including child play areas, interactive games, and video arcades, must remain closed.

  • Retail Customers (Updated May 18, 2020)
  • Single Person Offices (individuals working alone in an office may operate)
  • Wedding Reception Venues
  • Wedding Reception Attendees (Updated May 18, 2020)
  • Wedding Venues 
    Wedding receptions held in a restaurant should follow the restaurant protocols. Wedding reception services held at other indoor locations are limited to 25% of the facility’s total listed occupancy. Wedding receptions held outside are strongly recommended and are not subject to an occupancy limit. Employees and contractors of the wedding reception venue are not counted towards the 25% occupancy limitation

  • Wedding Attendees (Updated May 18, 2020)
Other activities that are allowed

Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation expanding additional services and activities that can open under Phase II. With this proclamation, water parks, recreational sport programs for adults, driver education programs, and food-court dining areas within shopping malls can begin operations with limited occupancy or regulations. Click here to learn more.

Additional information for businesses



TEA Commissioner Morath also provided new guidance on class of 2020 graduation ceremonies for Texas school districts. The TEA is providing four different pathways for schools to celebrate their graduating seniors, and each district is at liberty to determine if any of these options best serve the needs and desires of their community:

  • Completely virtual ceremonies that take place entirely online, with the use of video conference or other technologies.
  • Hybrid ceremonies, which consist of a compilation of videos of students being recognized in person as they celebrate graduation in small groups.
  • Vehicle ceremonies, in which students and their families wait in their cars while other graduates are recognized one at time with their families alongside them.
  • Outdoor in-person ceremonies, which are currently permitted for counties as follows: 
    • Between May 15 and May 31, an outdoor ceremony may take place in a rural county that has an attestation as described in the Governor’s Report to Open Texas that remains in effect 7 days prior to the ceremony. 
    • An outdoor ceremony may take place in any Texas county on or after June 1. 

Full details of the TEA's graduation ceremony guidance can be found on the TEA website.