AUSTIN, Texas — As the Austin-Travis County area remains in Stage 5 of COVID-19 risk-based guidelines, businesses are now ordered to post signage making people aware of the virus protections they have in place.
The announcement was made Thursday morning, and businesses that fail to comply could be faced with a $1,000 fine.
According to the order, “A person in control of a site must post a notice that identifies whether the person in control of the site requires face coverings, negative COVID tests, or vaccinations. The notice must be posted at each entry to the site.”
Business owners are additionally required to post a notice to employees and customers of all recommendations while the region is in Stage 3, 4 or 5 of risk-based guidelines.
“We appreciate every business that does their part to keep our community and their customers healthy and safe,” said Travis County Judge Andy Brown. “Today’s orders support local businesses by providing them tools and options to keep their doors open, customers safe, and our local economy growing.”
According to the city, the region's current moving 7-day average for hospitalizations is 110 and the positivity rate is 33%, marking an all-time high.
"We are enabling businesses to better protect public health and to make sure they have enough healthy workers to stay open,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “Today’s orders authorize businesses to choose for themselves whether they want to require masking or testing, or look at vaccinations, in their own facilities as a way to protect their customers and employees. This is an example of government getting out of the way of business. The orders also provide for a notice to be posted on the front door so potential customers can know whether or not a business is providing these protections."
A news release additionally says the City of Austin is preparing to distribute 96,000 face masks to area small businesses.