Information for City of Austin businesses and industries during COVID-19, including definitions and guidance for employers, employees, and customers based on rules adopted from the Health Authority.

Enforcement and Compliance

The City of Austin’s and Travis County’s primary focus is on education, voluntary compliance, and personal responsibility to help stop the spread of COVID-19.  

The City’s Code, Fire, and Police departments are responding to complaints about businesses in violation of Health Authority Rules. For information on what is mandated by current rules and orders, please visit the Orders and Emergency Rules page.

 Guidance for Businesses 

In general, the Health Authority Rules require individuals who are in control of a site or business to: 

  • Require every individual to wear a face covering in most circumstances;
  • Conduct a general health pre-screening of each worker every day before they begin their shift unless the site is a school;
  • Limit the number of individuals who gather or stand together to 10 or less;
  • Require at least six feet between groups of individuals except when the groups are seated at tables that are at least four feet apart and separated by a solid barrier; 
  • Clean and disinfect high touch items at least twice per day;
  • Keep toilets clean, sanitary and operational at all times and ensure proper disposal of waste from these facilities;
  • Provide single use disposable paper towels and no-touch trash receptacles in restrooms and breakrooms;
  • Mandate that all workers wash their hands for at least twenty seconds at the following times:
    • Before they begin working;
    • After they remove gloves;
    • Before and after the use of high touch items;
    • Before and after all meal or restroom breaks;
  • After a worker’s shift or work time ends and for workers confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, follow all Austin Public Health directions for the worker and all others with whom they have come in contact.

Employees should self-quarantine and refrain from reporting to work if in the previous 14 days, you have had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

Returning to Work

APH echoes recommendations from the CDC on managing individuals who have had COVID-19 and their return to work. Current health guidelines require these individuals to stay home:

  • At least 10 days following the onset of COVID-19 symptoms; AND
  • At least one day following the resolution of fever; WITH
  • Improvement of other symptoms

Resources and Assistance

Permit Applications

  • City departments have moved staff to telework conditions and are operating on reduced staff within facilities. Environmental Health Services Division (EHSD) has closed its lobby to walk-in customers and will accept permit applications only by mail or email.
  • For permits, follow instructions on the Development Services Department website.
  • For permits from Austin Center for Events follow the normal permit process. Applicants must also complete and submit a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan with their permit application. Forms, applications and event related order detail can be found on the ACE webpage.

Business & Industry Assistance

Construction Industry 

Under the Health Authority Rules, construction sites shall:

  • Institute staggered shifts for all sites with more than 10 active workers
  • Post at all job sites (languages understood by all persons working on the site) a notice showing the size and types of shift crews working there, and directions on how the person in control of the site is limiting crew size and rotating shifts
  • Ensure handwashing station and restroom(s) are spaced six feet apart or more from each another;
  • Prohibit the use of community water coolers;
  • Provide individual water bottles or instruct workers to bring their own;
  • Designate a COVID-19 safety monitor who is always on site;
  • Ensure that each worker entering the jobsite has signed in and keep a list of contact information for each worker that enters the jobsite every day to identify and notify workers in the event they have shared a jobsite with someone who has been  confirmed  to have COVID-19.

Get the downloadable (PDF) flyer on Construction Jobsite Guidelines here.

Construction Safety Guideline videos:

Austin Construction Safety and COVID-19 

Seguridad de Construcción y COVID-19 en Austin