Large gatherings banned in Austin through May 1, city says

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — In light of mass COVID-19 fears nationwide and locally, the City of Austin has announced mass gatherings are prohibited through May 1 — with exceptions.

In an announcement on Monday, the City of Austin says it’s following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in focusing on large gatherings.

The City says that through May 1, events with 2,500 or more people are prohibited unless organizers are able to assure Austin Public Health that “mitigation plans for infectious diseases are in place.”

The move comes after the historic move on Friday, March 6, when Austin Mayor Steve Adler announced that the 2020 South by Southwest festival would be canceled for the first time in 34 years.

Each event will be evaluated case-by-case, the City says. You can view mass gathering criteria here.

According to the City, a risk assessment will be conducted for every event of 2,500 or more people, including special events and permanently permitted venues with the same capacities.

The likelihood of an event remaining prohibited increases significantly if there’s a high chance of close personal contact, there are a high number of guests coming from unknown locations, and there is an insufficient number of hand washing and sanitizing stations available.

Venues and event planners for events in Austin with more than 2,500 people who have submitted an application for a special event permit will be contacted by local officials regarding their permit application status.

Event organizers can get the latest information here. If you’re planning an event outside of the Austin city limits that’s in Travis County, you can call the Travis County Fire Marshal at (512) 854-4621.

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