In the first phase of an effort to restart parts of Texas’ economy, on April 27, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order allowing certain businesses – retail establishments, restaurants, movie theaters, shopping malls, museums, libraries, golf courses, and services provided by an individual working alone in an office – to reopen on May 1, 2020, with most subject to certain restrictions regarding occupancy. Governor Abbott’s order, Executive Order GA-18, supersedes his prior executive stay-at-home order (Executive Order GA-16) and any conflicting local order, including, as discussed below, such orders that impose a civil or criminal penalty for failure to wear a face covering.
Executive Order GA-18 continues to allow business providing “essential services” to operate. “Essential services” continues to include everything listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure, Version 3.0 or any subsequent version, plus religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship.
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