Austin Reopens Some Public Services and Private Businesses
Here's what you need to know before you head out
By Clara Ence Morse,
2:00PM, Sat. May 30, 2020
Sixth Street bars fizz and overflow. Shoppers dot the Domain. And, on June 1, Austinites will be able to take a swim, adopt a puppy in person, and even return overdue library books. In short, it’s summer in Austin, closer to normal than seemed possible a month ago. And the city is moving forward with state-mandated and city-fronted reopenings.
In accordance with Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent reopening orders, today Austin grudgingly extended and modified its “Stay Home – Work Safe” order to include new businesses and events, such as bars, water parks, and mall food courts, allowed by the governor to reopen.
However, Abbott is not responsible for the reopening of Austin’s pools. That’s all the city, which plans to begin opening certain pools, including Barton Springs and Deep Eddy, to the public in June. Due to lifeguard shortages – the city has only 200 guards ready to work at the moment, instead of the 750 it typically employs during the summer – not all pools will open immediately, and those that open will do so for only four days a week, to allow for extensive pool cleaning. Visitors are encouraged to wear masks and socially distance.
For those itching to jump back in, Govalle, Rosewood, and Shipe Pools will open at 1pm on Monday, June 1, with seven more opening later that week. No reopening date has been announced yet for Barton Springs or Deep Eddy.
Although pools are filling up again, kids will have to wait a while longer to get out of the house to city-sponsored summer camps. No programs will run until July 6, when free residents-only camp will start up. And no reopening date has been announced for the interactive, kid-friendly splash pads around Austin. And in a burst of good news for those who spent the past couple months scrolling through cat pictures, Austin’s Animal Services Office plans to restart in-person adoption appointments on June 1. Potential adopters must wear masks and have their temperatures taken before the appointment begins.
Finally, for any aspiring Airbnb-ers, the Austin Code Department is opening up a full-time cashier’s office on June 1 and its in-person Licensing and Registration office on June 15.
Read the city’s full reopening announcement, including specific pool hours.