Good afternoon Members,
The Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston recognizes the importance of keeping the members informed of issued that are currently facing the travel and tourism industry in Houston and the greater area.
If you need additional information or require assistance please contact our office via-email as we are working hard to provide you with the information you need in a timely manner.
We encourage you to use these official resources to make sure that you are receiving the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Governor Abbott Lifts Mask Mandate & Capacity Limits Effective 03.10.21
Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order effective Wednesday, March 10th, that all businesses may open to 100% capacity. The order also ends the statewide mask mandate in Texas. Capacity restrictions and spacing requirements are now optional. Individual companies, including hotels, may limit their capacity or implement additional safety protocols at their own discretion.
The new executive order notes that should the COVID-19 hospitalizations in any of the 22 trauma service regions in Texas exceed 15% of the hospital bed capacity in that region for seven (7) straight days, the County Judge in that region may use COVID-19 mitigation strategies. However, County Judges may not impose any penalties for failing to wear a face mask. Additionally, those mitigation strategy restrictions may not include reducing capacity to less than 50% for any business.
Businesses are still able to enact their own policies and procedures related to mitigating COVID-19 on their premises. Lodging establishments should review their current policies and determine their protocols going forward in light of customer and staff expectations. The Texas Hotel & Lodging Association strongly suggests that hotels continue to follow the national Stay Safe protocols, which were reviewed by the CDC and created in consultation with Leading hotel safety and security experts.
The Governor’s order is available here.
- A full opening of Texas businesses, without capacity limitations, except in areas of Texas where COVID-19 hospitalization cases exceed 15% of the area’s hospital census. This includes indoor and outdoor events.
- Removes the statewide mask mandate.
- Local government officials may not issue orders mandating masks unless the 15% hospitalization threshold is reached.
- Prohibits a local government official from issuing orders restricting business capacity, unless the 15% hospitalization threshold is reached.
Returning To Work
OSHA has prepared guidance for employers and employees on safely returning to the workplace. Guidance on Returning to Work (osha.gov)
- Hotel Employees COVID Assessment – English / Spanish
- Announcement to Employees Above Positive COVID Test
- Announcement to Disclose COVID Diagnosis
- CDC Contact Tracing Guidelines
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information COVID-19 Vaccine Information (texas.gov)
Hotel Operation Resources
- Closing or Suspending Hotel Operations Checklist: General-Closed-Hotel-Operations-Recommendations-Petra-2020.pdf (azureedge.net)
- SBA COVID-19 Small Business Guidance and Resources: (Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources (sba.gov)
- CMBS Guide For Forbearance: A CMBS Borrower’s Quick Guide for Communicating with Your Servicer in Cases of Need (crefc.org)
- National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Brief on COVID-19: NAIC Insurance Brief: COVID-19 and Insurance
Local County Health & Human Services Dashboards
- Harris County Harris County COVID-19 Data Hub (arcgis.com)
- Fort Bend County Fort Bend COVID-19 Response (arcgis.com)
- Galveston County COVID-19 Dashboard | Galveston County Health District (gchd.org)
- Chambers County Chambers County
- Waller County Waller County, Texas
- Montgomery County Information Provided By Montgomery County. This page is a work in progress, please check back often for more details (mctx.org)
Governor Abbott issues executive order requiring travelers from New York, New Orleans to self-quarantine. Place of quarantine can be a hotel.
Today, Governor Abbott issued an executive order mandating that people arriving at a Texas airport from either a point of origin or a point of last departure in New York, New Orleans, Connecticut, or New Jersey are subject to mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days. The place of quarantine can be a hotel or residence, and the traveler is responsible for all costs associated with the quarantine. Governor Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to enforce the Order, and DPS will create a form for quarantined travelers to submit to the agency to report their quarantine status.
Harris County under executive order to “Stay Home / Work Safe”.
Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued a “Stay Home, Work Safe” order for all Houston and Harris County residents. The order is effective beginning at 11:59 p.m. on March 24, 2020 and will be in effect at least through 11:59 p.m. on April 3rd. Hotels are deemed a residence and allowed to remain open but restrictions prohibit the gathering of individuals. A copy of the order can be found at www.readyharris.org/stayhome.
County Judge Hidalgo Limits Restaurant Service to Take Out, Deliver or Drive Through
On March 16th, Harris County Judge Hidalgo issued an executive order through March 31st which prohibits restaurant dinning rooms and bars but allows for the food service through take out, delivery or drive through. This restriction went into effect Tuesday, March 17 at 8 AM and continues for the next 15 days. On March 18, Governor Abbott issued a waiver which temporarily allows restaurants across the state to deliver alcoholic beverages with purchases of food. A copy of the order can be found here.
City of Houston Extends Emergency Health Declaration Indefinitely
On Tuesday, March 17 Mayor Turner and City Council voted to extend the City’s Emergency Health Declaration indefinitely. The Mayor cancelled all city-sponsored and permitted events through the end of April. City Council presentations, which usually occur on Tuesdays, have been suspended through April. Council meetings will be limited to 50 people.
Governor Abbott Orders Statewide Limits Size of Public Gatherings & Closure of Dining Areas and Bars
On March 19th, Governor Greg Abbott issued a statewide executive order which limits the number of people to 10 who can gather in one place at a time, closes restaurant dining rooms, prohibits drinking in bars, closes gyms and massage establishments, limit nursing home visitations; and temporarily close schools. These executive orders are effective midnight Friday, March 20 through Friday, April 3, with the possibility of an extension.. The Texas Hotel & Lodging Association has prepared a brief on the executive order, for more information you can Read more here.
Texas Hotel Government Contract/Lease Survey
Texas Hotel & Lodging Association is in communication with the State of Texas and with local governments regarding the possibility of hotels entering into a lease or other agreement with the government during the response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
More information here.
How Hotels Can Prevent The Spread Of COVID-19
While the CDC is advising businesses that no additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time, Justin Bragiel with the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association has compiled the advice from leading hotel industry health and safety experts with regard to hotel cleaning practices.
Read more about recommended cleaning and sanitation practices.
Bridge Loans for Texas Lodging Operators
The Texas Governor’s Office has submitted the necessary paperwork for all 254 counties in Texas to be eligible for this federal SBA assistance, including Harris County. For more information, please visit this SBA webpage. You can start the application process here.
Harris County Drive Thru COVID-19 Testing
Friday, March 20, the first city-administered drive-through testing site was opened to first responders and health care workers. On Monday, March 23rd, testing is now available to high-risk, symptomatic patients. Residents should not arrive to the testing site without the required pre-screening. Please check the Houston Health Department site for more information on the pre-screening process and testing sites.
Specializing in Hospitality Renovation
Headquartered in Houston, Texas Fulgore Construction is a trusted leader in commercial general contracting specializing in Hospitality renovation, retrofit, and alteration projects.
Ecolab is here with expertise and resources to help keep your staff and guests safe. We are committed to powering your performance by helping deliver a clean and healthy experience across your entire property.
Hospitality Renovation Services
PWI Construction provides hospitality renovation services to meet the new demands of the guest experience. From dining area reconfiguration to public space reconstruction, we are experienced in working in an open environment at a fast pace with minimal impact on the guest experience. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have added safety protocols that meet or exceed local and federal standards to safeguard our worksites, project teams, and communities.