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Large outdoor events now permissible in Texas under new state order

Large events of 500 people or more, such as Fourth of July celebrations, can continue with approval of county judges or mayors and the local public health authority.

AUSTIN, Texas — Under the latest phase of Gov. Greg Abbott's plan to reopen Texas businesses, large outdoor events like July 4 celebrations have been given the greenlight.

Gov. Abbott announced Phase 3 on Wednesday and, in it, he said large outdoor gatherings with an estimated attendance of more than 500 people are permissible across the state. However, he said the local county judge or mayor will need to coordinate with the local public health authority to decide if the event's occupancy should be further limited based on local COVID-19 rates and certain factors identified in the order.

The following protocols are a recommended minimum for all outdoor events in the state:

  • All people should avoid contact within six feet of people who are age 65 or older, who are still urged to stay home as much as possible.
  • Individuals should avoid being in groups of larger than 10 people. Inside these groups, people should minimize in-person contact with others outside their own household. 
  • Individuals should maintain six feet of separation from others outside their own group.
  • Individuals should self-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 before attending an event.
  • People should wash or disinfect their hands after interactions with other people or items at the event.
  • Face coverings are encouraged.
  • Clean and sanitize any items before and after use.

RELATED: Gov. Abbott announces Phase 3 of Texas reopening; capacity limit expanded to 50% for most businesses

The new order also lists out the following local approval factors that should be considered before an event can be held:

  • The overall number of projected attendees
  • The likelihood of individuals over the age of 65 attending
  • The density of the forum and the ability to ensure social distancing of six feet between individuals
  • The level of transmission in the county

Gatherings of less than 500 people may continue along with all health protocols mentioned above without approval of the county judge, local health authority or mayor, as applicable.

More details about Phase 3 can be found here.

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