How to Enjoy the Fourth of July Safely, Responsibly, and Lawfully in Austin

City issues a reminder of what is allowed under local and state orders

Going into the Fourth of July weekend, city officials would like to remind you of pre-existing local orders on COVID-19 safety that have been additionally “bolstered” by the governor’s executive order and proclamation yesterday. (Bolstered. We see your delicate shade, COA press release writers, and we dig it.)

So, as you’re mulling how to celebrate Independence Day safely, responsibly, and lawfully, keep in mind this guidance from Austin-Travis County officials:

Under the new City Order, recommendations have been identified to help residents maintain a sense of normalcy while protecting each other from further spread of COVID-19. The recommendations are as follows:

• All persons MUST wear some form of covering that fits snugly over their nose and mouth, with limited exceptions

• All individuals and business establishments are ORDERED to practice the social distancing, hygiene, and face covering behaviors

• Social gatherings of any size shall be avoided or minimized

• Vulnerable individuals (those over 65, who are immunocompromised, or who have underlying health conditions) shall particularly avoid groups of more than two beyond the members of their single household or residence

• Nursing homes, retirement facilities, and long-term care facilities must prohibit non-critical assistance visitors or providers from accessing their facilities

• All persons MUST practice social distancing except when in the presence of only members of one's own household or residence, or when otherwise exempted by this Order

• All business's or venue's premises or facilities MUST require and enforce this health and safety policy or plan as to all who enter into the premises or facility, including employees

• All business establishments reopened by the Governor's Orders are strongly encouraged to operate at a capacity less than otherwise permitted to make it more feasible for customers and staff to maintain proper social distancing

• To assist in both the statewide and local contact tracing programs, all retail, restaurants, and bars allowing indoor service and all reopened services are encouraged to maintain an activity log, as reasonably possible, with the contact information for all inside or sit-down customers and employees including the dates, times and locations of where they were present

•If someone in a household has tested positive for COVID-19 or is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test, the entire household is ORDERED to isolate and not travel outside of the City of Austin except to seek medical attention or until cleared by Austin Public Health

• A violation of this Order may be punishable through criminal enforcement, except as limited by state order. A warning will be issued to an individual before issuing a citation

• Businesses are still required to ensure that all patrons and employees wear a face covering while inside their business, unless exempted by this Order

• People taking part in permitted activities should not accept the exception offered in Executive Order GA-28 and abide by the 10-person limitation

In addition to enforcing mandatory face coverings, Austin-Travis County encourages residents to continue to abide by the following measures outlined in previous orders:

• Gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited.

• Maintain six feet distance from people outside of your household whenever possible.

• Do not leave your home except to conduct essential activities.

• Stay home if you are sick.

• Maintain proper personal hygiene by washing hands frequently.

See the latest guidance and data on coronavirus at the City of Austin's COVID-19 page.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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