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Texas Governor Announces Move to Phase III of Planned Reopening

With his Executive Order GA-23 set to expire at midnight last night, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-26 yesterday, implementing “Phase III” of his planned “reopening” of the state from coronavirus closings and business interruption.

Under Phase III, effective immediately, all businesses in Texas will be able to operate at up to 50% capacity, with very limited exceptions. Businesses that previously have been able to operate at 100% capacity may continue to do so, and most outdoor areas are not subject to capacity limits. All businesses and customers should continue to follow minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services (“DSHS”).

Highlights of the Order:

Effective June 3, 2020: 

  • All businesses currently operating at 25% capacity can expand their occupancy to 50% with certain exceptions. 

  • Bars and similar establishments may increase their capacity to 50% as long as patrons are seated.

  • Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with less than 1,000 confirmed positive cases may open at 50% capacity. 

  • Restaurants may expand their maximum table size from six to 10 persons. 

Effective June 12, 2020:

  • Restaurants may expand their occupancy levels to 75%. 

  • Counties with 10 or less active COVID-19 cases may expand their occupancy limits to 75%. Counties that fit this category but have not previously filed an attestation with DSHS will need to do so.

Effective June 19, 2020:

  • Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with more than 1,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 may open at 50% capacity.
    Additional Openings:

  • Special provisions have been made for outdoor gatherings, such as Fourth of July celebrations, but it is imperative that local officials and public health officials collaborate on safe standards. 

Further Protocols: 

  • All businesses should continue to follow the minimum standard health protocols from DSHS. 

Reminders for Going out in Public:

  • Individuals are encouraged to wear appropriate face coverings.

  • People should not be in groups greater than 10 when possible.

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

  • People are still asked to avoid nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities.

There are numerous additional provisions and exemptions in the Order, including exempting churches and local government operations from all occupancy limitations. Summaries and explanations of all the GA-26 provisions can be found here.

© 2021 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 157



About this Author

Craig P. Chick Public Affairs Attorney Foley & Lardner Austin, TX
Director, Public Affairs

Craig Chick is a public affairs director with Foley & Lardner LLP. Prior to Foley, he was a former senior advisor to Speaker Joe Straus on issues impacting business, energy, and government efficiency. Prior to working in the speaker’s office, Craig spent over 15 years as a senior advisor to Texas House and Senate members such as Kyle Janek and Fred Bosse. Having been involved in Texas politics for over 23 years, Craig has advised members of the House and Senate on political discourse involving alcohol, economic development, electric generation and transmission, employment,...

Amy Beard Public Affairs Attorney Foley & Lardner Austin, TX
Public Affairs Advisor Sr

Amy Beard is a public affairs advisor with Foley & Lardner LLP. Amy has over 13 years of experience in government relations, reputation management, public policy, and legislative advocacy.

Amy’s experience includes being a founder of Windmill Consulting where she lobbied for clients such as Google, Uber, DJI Technology, and Walmart. Prior to Windmill Consulting, Amy was the governmental affairs consultant at Cammack & Strong, P.C., where for over 10 years she provided consulting services and advocacy on policy issues for clients in various industries including technology,...

Arthur Val Perkins Real Estate Lawyer Foley Lardner

Val Perkins is a sought after lobbyist and litigator who focuses on real estate development issues, including forming municipal utility districts and other special districts that encourage and foster more rapid real estate development. Val also handles related water and land use matters before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Specializing in legislative lobbying, he represents clients before the Texas Legislature in business, construction, health care, homeowners association and housing matters. Val also represents clients with administrative concerns and in administrative...