LIST: What's "Essential" under Stay Home, Work Safe

Sorry We're Closed
By Talk 1370

AUSTIN ( -- With the area going under a "Stay Home, Work Safe" order beginning Wednesday, what's considered an "essential" activity or business?

The City of Austin, along with Travis and Williamson Counties, are implementing new restrictions through April 13. In short, only activities essential to health and safety are allowed to continue; otherwise, residents are expected to shelter in place at home.

Here are some business categories listed in the City order:

  • Grocery stores and supermarkets
  • Gas stations and convenience stores
  • Healthcare
  • Banks
  • Hardware and supply stores
  • Restaurants - only offering take-out or delivery service, no dine-in
  • Transportation services including ride share services like Uber, Lyft
  • Liquor stores
  • Farmers
  • Social services and charities
  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • Exterminators
  • Pool cleaners
  • Car dealers, auto parts supply stores
  • Mail and delivery services
  • Laundry services
  • Businesses that sell supplies to help people work from home
  • Legal, accounting, insurance, and real estate services
  • Information technology service providers
  • Moving supply services
  • Hotels and motels, for lodging only
  • Funeral services
  • Schools
  • Childcare facilities

Any businesses that remain open are required to maintain social distancing and take other steps to ensure that employees are not possibly spreading COVID-19.

Non-essential businesses are allowed to perform "necessary activities" to maintain the value of inventory, ensure security, process payroll or employee benefits, or any necessary operations to enable other employees of the business to work from home.

Essential activities under the order are defined as:
  • Activities and tasks essential to health and safety (healthcare, including pets)
  • Necessary supplies and services (groceries and food, pet supplies, supplies needed to work from home, household products, and products necessary for household use)
  • Outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, bicycling, running, as long as you maintain social distancing
  • Work for essential businesses, government services, and critical infrastructure
  • Taking care of others, including family members and pets not in your household

Any public or private gathering of any number of people outside of a single household is prohibited by the order, along with any travel that isn't for obtaining essential services or activities.